• Home team needed 2-0 victory to reach semi-finals
Different team, different competition, but a familiar journey for British football fans at a major international tournament: expectation, hope and then despair.
Great Britain's men's five-a-side team had quietly fancied their chances of beating Iran in their final group game by the two goals needed to make the semi-finals. Yet there were few complaints after a 1-0 defeat left them bottom of their group and out of the medals. Instead they will be squabbling over the peripheral places in the forthcoming days.
Their best defender, Daniel English, who saw several shots brilliantly saved by the Iran goalkeeper Meysam Shojaeiyan, reached for the usual cliches – "very disappointed", "all the boys put in 100%" – before hitting on the key point: his team's strangely sluggish, stand-offish start. "We should have played like we did in the second half from the beginning," he said. "We should have been on the front foot."
Instead they sat back and Iran, who were already out of the tournament, were allowed to exhibit their better footwork. They had several near-misses before Ahmadreza Shah Hosseini Ardekani scored what turned out to be the winner with a 21st-minute penalty. His team-mate Behzad Zadaliasghari Yengejeh – who is blind, remember – celebrated with an exuberant cartwheel.
Dave Clarke had the chance to equalise just before the interval after English was sent sprawling in the box. However his Jonny Wilkinson-esque penalty from six metres – crouch, both hands on ball, step back, release hands, fire! – was well saved.
Further chances followed in the second half – plenty of them, in fact – but English and Clarke were both thwarted repeatedly by Shojaeiyan and, in English's case, by the outside of the bar.
Still, English was not too disappointed afterwards, pointing out that the tournament had been "a fantastic opportunity to show off blind football at all levels" and expressing his hope that "it will get more people playing throughout the world".
Shah Hosseini Ardekani was also looking forward. "This is only our first Paralympics and there are more wins to come," he said. "We are going to take the Paralympic five-a-side competition by storm." On this evidence he may just be right.