Carlos Queiroz angry at referee after ‘clear’ penalty was denied
Milorad Mazic did not award a penalty when Iran were on top in the second-half as Ashkan Dejagah’s appeals were turned down when he tumbled in the area under pressure from Pablo Zabaleta.
“It was a clear penalty,” Queiroz said. “Millions of people saw that. I don’t understand it, he had to have seen it was a penalty. He was five metres away, there is no way he couldn’t have seen it. I have the right to say this and I only hope I am now not punished for telling the truth because it was a decision that nobody can understand.”
Queiroz was otherwise satisfied with his team who came within two minutes of drawing.
“I’m proud of my team and happy with the performance,” he said. “But we didn’t come here to be nice losers. We came to compete and win and I think we deserved a little bit more today, but then you have Messi and his genius strike. Messi was fantastic, but the referee wasn’t.
“I wish the result would have been different, but what can we do? We need to look forward now and win the next game [against Bosnia and Herzegovina]. We can still go through.”
His Argentine counterpart Alejandro Sabella praised Iran, who defended resolutely yesterday.
“They made the game very difficult for us,” said Sabella. “Messi was marked very tightly, but he showed perseverance, patience, attitude and always looked for the goal. He never gave up.”
Messi said that his side will improve after also stuttering in the opener, a 2-1 win over Bosnia.
“We are not showing what we can do, but with a run of games I think we will get there,” he said. “We are the first ones to know we have not reached the level we would like.”
His goal put Argentina into the last 16. “When the ball went in I felt very happy to have qualified because it was in the last few minutes and for the roar of the crowd. It was a lovely moment,” Messi said.
Zabaleta said he could not see his side making the breakthrough. “We had the feeling that we weren’t going to win, but when you have a player like Leo, who can always do that, it is very satisfying,” the Manchester City defender said.
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Published: June 22, 2014 04:00 AM