As the ref blew the final whistle at Doha’s Al Thamama Stadium to confirm their 0-1 loss to the U.S., several members of the Iranian team were seen bursting into tears.

In an especially poignant moment, defender Ramin Rezaeian, who had run himself into the ground over 100 grueling minutes, was consoled by Antonee Robinson, who had lined up opposite him on the American side.

It is not unusual for defeated players to weep in frustration, especially after a game so heavily freighted with historical and geopolitical import. For Team Melli, as the Iranian national soccer squad is known, there was the additional heartbreak of being eliminated from the World Cup.