Diego Costa's goal gives Spain hard-fought 1-0 victory over Iran

Lawrence Kim
June 25, 2018

Although he refuses to take Carlos Queiroz's Asian heavyweights for granted, the 34-year-old Iniesta is intent on lifting a second World Cup trophy to add to the pair of European Championship titles he won with Spain in 2008 and 2012.

Fernando Hierro's side had to wait until the 25th minute for their first attempt on goal, David Silva's long-range free-kick comfortably held by Alireza Beiranvand. His team qualified for the tournament unbeaten and produced its first win at the World Cup since 1998 with a 1-0 win over Morocco in its opening game.

Still, they needed a 95th-minute own-goal from the unfortunate Aziz Bouhaddouz to snatch a 1-0 win although few would begrudge them the result, considering the battling display they produced throughout the contest.

Noting that Spain are a very strong team with great power of controlling the ball and the pace and many "super" players, Queiroz said that it will be a good opportunity for his team to learn and grow better through the game.

Queiroz had no complaints about the VAR decision which ruled out Saeid Ezatolahi's strike for offside, preferring instead to rue that it had not been around at the 2010 World Cup when his Portugal were beaten by a contentious Spain goal.

Against that, for all Spain's world class talent, Hierro has had little over a week to work with his team after being rushed into the job as a makeshift replacement after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.

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.

With a photo of Spain's passing map from the first half of the match against Iran, accompanied by a photo of del Bosque, the post pointed out the uncanny resemblance between the two.

Iran remain on three points, while Portugal are one ahead on four and level with Spain at the top of the group after victory over the Moroccans in Moscow yesterday.

With Iran constantly closing Spain down, their goal came thanks to a fluke that bounced off Diego Costa's leg. "We are very happy with three points".

"He went to hospital but we hope everything will be alright".

Meanwhile FIFA hss fined the Mexican Football Association 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,000) for homophobic chants heard during their World Cup fixture against Germany.

Costa, who grabbed a brace in the 3-3 draw against Portugal, was in the right spot at the right time, his lucky deflection leaving the masses of Iran fans at Kazan Arena groaning in disappointment. It is true it wasn't a nice thing for anyone, a hard situation for everyone, and now we want to concentrate on what we have to do.

Morocco will play its final game against Spain on Monday, June 25th.

No player had more touches of the ball (137), more passes (103) and he also registered the most take-on of the tournament so far (9).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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