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Daily Schmankerl: Obermair to Graz, Ronaldo’s evil goatee, World Cup recaps, and more!

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Yesterday’s World Cup action produced a lot of fun highlights to check out. No. 1: Iran allowed women into Azadi Stadium in Tehran for the first time in a generation.

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 02: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Carlo Ancelotti, head coach of FC Bayern Muenchen shake hands with Raphael Obermair during a training session at Saebener Strasse training ground on February 2, 2017 in Munich, Germany.
Raphael Obermair shakes hands with then head coach Carlo Ancelotti, February 2, 2017.
Photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Raphael Obermair leaves Bayern II for Sturm Graz (Münchner Merkur)

Yet another player has left the ranks of Bayern Munich’s amateurs to take the next step in his professional career: this time it is 22-year-old right-midfielder Raphael Obermair. Obermair transferred to Bayern II two years ago from newly promoted Rosenheim. Obermair played in 29 games for Bayern II this season, scoring five goals and assisting six. He will join the runner up to Austria’s Bundesliga Sturm Graz, which has won a chance to play in the Champions League qualifications against Amsterdam Ajax at the end of July.

Obermair was signed by old friend Heiko Vogel, who previously coached him at Bayern II. Vogel said,

He has a lot of potential and especially brings a ton of pace to our offensive game. Raphael is a great guy; it was always fun to work with him.

Good luck, Raphael!

Uruguay scrape by Saudi Arabia 1-0 — Group A

Uruguay ground out another result against a spirited Saudi Arabia, as Luis Suarez scored the decisive goal in the 23rd minute of his 100th performance for Uruguay. Despite featuring a front tandem of Suarez and Cavani, Uruguay’s offense has yet to really gel, but they have now one both their opening games without conceding.

FIFA fines Mexico 10,000 CHF (= $10,400) for homophobic chants (ESPN FC)

FIFA has duly fined the Mexican Football Federation for the conduct of its fans at their World Cup opener against Germany. Mexican fans repeatedly chanted a homophobic slur when Germany’s players, especially Manuel Neuer, had the ball. Mexican fans behaved similarly at World Cup 2014 in Brazil, but were not punished.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez took to social media to ask his countrymen to behave themselves to avoid another fine, but it seems unlikely the chants will stop anytime soon. Since FIFA began paying attention, the organization has warmed Mexico twice and fined them ten times for the chant during World Cup qualifications.

Iranian women allowed in Azadi Stadium for the first time in 37 years (Bleacher Report)

It’s a tired cliché that international soccer can change the world for the good, but every now and then it proves true. That was the case yesterday, when for the first time in 37 years, women were allowed into Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch Iran’s game against Spain on TV. Many Iranian women who love the game have only ever seen their team play in person abroad. Police initially blocked access to the event until Iran’s Minister of the Interior personally intervened. Time will tell how long it will be until women are regularly allowed access to soccer matches in Iran, but the first step has been taken.

Ronaldo scores his fourth as Portugal eliminate Morocco 1-0 — Group B

Cristiano Ronaldo officially eliminated Morocco from the World Cup yesterday, scoring his fourth goal of the tournament on a fierce header in just the fourth minute of the match.

Morocco took the game to Portugal, however, and had several opportunities to score. Former Bayern Munich center-back Medhi Benatia himself wasted three chances to level the score, and a tying goal was disallowed on VAR review. Portugal locked down and ensured that all of Morocco’s 16 shots went nowhere.

Bayern completing charity work in Miami ahead of this summer’s ICC

Bayern’s US office spent some time in Miami this week with club’s Miami supporters group to do some charity work. They powered through and helped sort over 9,600 pounds of foot which will help provide over 8,000 meals for needy families in the area.

Look at Berni doing work!

Berni doing work.
Berni doing work.
FC Bayern

This summer, Bayern will play Manchester City as part of the International Champions Cup.

Goatee’d Ronaldo now twice as evil (Fox)

Ronaldo’s diabolical twin from a parallel universe is scoring prolifically at the World Cup. Where is illogical Spock when you need him?

Iran take Spain to the brink but fall 1-0 — Group B

Well aware of their limitations, yet willing to risk attacks, Iran repeatedly threatened Spain during their lopsided match. Spain enjoyed a whopping 78% of possession, but they still allowed Iran to drive forward and shoot. As the match progressed, it nearly seemed inevitable that Iran’s spirited efforts would eventually result in a hard-fought goal. Iran’s offense seemed to surprise itself by its scrappy passing and ball movement that brought them improbably within striking distance of “Best Keeper in the World” David de Gea’s net. After an anemic first half, Spain finally scored on a semi-own goal bounced off the legs of Diego Costa by Iran’s Ramin Rezaeian. Iran still managed to find the back of the net but the goal was disallowed upon VAR review. But at least we have the memories of this:

Au contraire, please do Pique like that.

Isco took a moment to rescue a little bird

Blaze it like Boris Man