Spain beat Iran 1-0 with Costa's third goal of World Cup

21 Juin, 2018, 11:42 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Saudi Arabia plane's engine catches fire

The expectation that they would play well back was unfounded, however, even if they kept their shape superbly, restricting Spain to a handful of chances in the first half.

By the end of a pulsating opening half in which Iran's defence thwarted the few real chances La Roja were able to create, Hierro's men left the pitch looking rather red-faced.

Spurred on by their vociferous fans, Iran's imposing players did well to handle Spain's attacks. "They were provoking us, and we were on the grass all the time". It was a celebration of what brought Iran to the verge of worldwide relevance under Queiroz, whose team faces obstacles from its own federation to global sanctions against the country.

Spain could not managed to get a second despite their best efforts while Iran nearly scored an equaliser when Mehdi's powerful header hit the crossbar. In the 60th minute, Mehdi headed wide from a promising position off a cross from the right wing.

Diego Costa's fortuitous goal in the second half was enough secure three points against a stubborn Iran side, who had an equaliser ruled out following a VAR review.

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Iran seemed to have got the equalizer eight minutes later as a cross bubbled in the 18-yard box of the Spaniards as the ball was drilled in by Karim Ansarifard. By the time the final whistle was blown, it was a relief for Spain who had grabbed full points against a stubborn side.

The squad, which has faced an uphill battle at the soccer tournament partly thanks to worldwide sanctions, had a goal taken away in the second half of Wednesday's loss, missing out on the potential equalizer during the tense match. Spain got lucky today, and they deserved to. In order to avoid any kind of drubbing Iranian coach Carlos Queiroz adopted a safety first approach.

Defender Majid Hosseini replaces the injured centre back Rouzbeh Cheshmi as Iran seek a second successive win after their 1-0 victory over Morocco.

Spain, looking to emulate their 2010 triumph when Andres Iniesta hit an extra-time victor to deny the Netherlands in the final, now sit top of Group B before a final match against Morocco, who restricted Portugal to a 1-0 win earlier on Wednesday. Who would you rather prefer-Uruguay or Russian Federation?

One thing is for sure-a goal for Iran in the last match will set the cat amongst the pigeons.

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