Queiroz: Messi and referee made the difference

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz slammed the failure to award his side a penalty in their 1-0 FIFA World Cup defeat to Argentina.

Queiroz's men looked to be on their way to famous draw at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte on Saturday after keeping Argentina at bay for 90 minutes.

But Iran's hearts were broken in injury time as Argentina talisman Lionel Messi hit home with a sublime curling effort from the edge of the area to send Alejandro Sabella's side through to the next round.

Former Portugal coach Queiroz felt his side deserved to have been awarded a spot-kick after Pablo Zabaleta felled Ashkan Dejagah nine minutes into the second half.

Replays showed that Zabaleta had not won the ball and was lucky not to have been penalised, and Queiroz was quick to direct his anger at Serbian referee Milorad Mazic.

"I am very happy with the display of my players," Queiroz said.

"I cannot be disappointed. We gave a lesson in humility.

"There were two personalities that made a difference. The first was the referee. There was a clear penalty.

"The second was Messi.

"When you play against Messi, you know he can make the difference at any moment. It was a brilliant goal."


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