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US soccer team consoles Iranian players after World Cup win in inspiring display of sportsmanship

The game was heated considering the fact that there have been political tensions between the two countries.

US soccer team consoles Iranian players after World Cup win in inspiring display of sportsmanship
Image Source: (L) Getty Images/Claudio Villa; (R) Getty Images/Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Everyone's eyes are on the FIFA World Cup happening in Qatar right now. Moreover, the political tensions between the US and Iran have further ignited the attention on their soccer teams. In an important game between the two countries on Tuesday night, Iran was defeated 1-0. The US advanced to round 16 of the international soccer tournament with Iran losing the chance to win the trophy. While the match was undoubtedly heated, the actual emotions started pouring in after it ended, reports Comic Sands.

As soon as the final whistle at Al Thumama Stadium signaled the end of the game, American players could be seen hugging their opponents and offering them support. Although the defeat was painful, the Iranian team was dealing with difficult circumstances in their country as well as extreme political pressure. The American team knew that and jumped in to offer their sympathy and support, displaying true sportsmanship on the field. 


Timothy Weah, Josh Sargent and Brenden Aaronson approached Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi, who seemed distressed, and offered some words of kindness and sympathy. Meanwhile, Antonee Robinson wrapped a lengthy hug around fellow defender Ramin Rezaeian, who burst into tears, and spent time with a dejected Abolfazl Jalali, who had slumped to the grass, per The Guardian.


Weah told Fox Sports, "I think it’s more than just football. I think the United States and Iran have had so many issues politically and I just wanted to show that we are all human beings and we all love each other." He added: "I just wanted to spread peace and love and show him we come from different backgrounds, we grew up differently. He is still my family, he is still my brother and I love him the same way as the guys I grew up with." 


Aaronson said of Ezatolahi who broke down into tears after the game, "I could feel the emotion from him on the ground. It’s tough, it’s a tough moment for a lot of things. You put your heart and soul and I think he had a great game too, and a great tournament from Iran." He added, "All you want to do is go and console them and tell them that everything is going to be OK. It’s just a human thing."

Sargent admitted that he felt a lump in his throat as he saw Ezatolahi's tears and that his own anguish welled up. He said, "Everybody is human, obviously. We’ve all been working our asses off to get to this important point of our lives. This is the pinnacle of everybody’s career. I know it is not an easy situation when you lose." 

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