Joe Biden (on November 29)
Photo: Yuri Gripas/POOL/EPA
It was a game with clear political undertones.
In the end, the USA celebrated a 1-0 victory over Iran at the World Cup in Qatar and made it into the round of 16.
For the opponent, however, the tournament is over.
US President Joe Biden was suitably euphoric about the team's hard-fought success.
After shouting “USA, USA” twice and clenching his fist, Biden reported on a conversation with the team beforehand on the sidelines of a speech on his economic policy in Michigan and concluded: “You did it!
God love them.” Earlier, he had stepped up to the podium again and said, “US one, Iran zero.
The game is over!"
The 1:0 secured the USA second place in the group and qualification for the round of 16.
There it goes against the Netherlands on Saturday.
In four years, the United States will host the next World Cup along with Mexico and Canada.
In the Iranian capital, Tehran, some motorists expressed their glee after the World Cup defeat.
On Wednesday night, people in crowded places shouted, for example: "It was probably nothing with your national team".
They alluded to the high political and sporting expectations of the team.
The players were under a lot of pressure in the face of the nationwide protests by the domestic football association.
Politicians had hoped for a victory against the arch-enemy USA and thus for backing in domestic politics.
A sports journalist in Tehran explained that Iran's leadership exerted a lot of political pressure before the game.
Frustration could also be heard on the streets, as eyewitnesses reported.
Videos circulated on social media of protest slogans being heard from neighborhood balconies.
People shouted "Death to the dictator" - as an allusion to the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
After the kick-off, many Iranians had used the attention online to name the youngest victims of the protests.
"Now the revolutionaries are happy about the defeat of the Islamic Republic team," wrote the well-known Iranian social activist Atena Daemi on Twitter.
Protest against Iran in the stadium
During the game, activists from the Russian punk group protested in the stands for women's rights in Iran.
They wore T-shirts with the slogan "Woman Life Freedom" and the logo of the Iranian football federation at Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha.
Some of them also had colorful balaclavas on their heads, as can be seen in the pictures.
A spokesman for Cinema for Peace confirmed to the dpa news agency that they were members of Pussy Riot.
According to a report by the AP news agency, the women also chanted the slogan of the protest movement in Iran.
Iran has been rocked by heavy protests for weeks.
The trigger was the death of the Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini in mid-September.
She died in police custody after being arrested for breaking Islamic dress codes.
According to estimates by human rights activists, at least 450 demonstrators have been killed and around 18,000 protesters arrested since then.