Iran v Spain: Isco impressed with Hierro's seamless adaptation

World Cup Iran vs Spain as it happened Diego Costa’s goal gives La Roja 1-0 win

Patience is a virtue, and Spain showed plenty of it to overcome a tough challenge from Iran at the World Cup.

Kissing the ball and tapping it against his head, Mohammadi then proceeded to try and pull off a somersault throw-in towards Spain's goal box.

Diego Costa scored the only goal of the match as Spain recorded a 1-0 win over Iran in Wednesday night's 2018 World Cup clash in Kazan.

What's the one thing you don't want to do when representing your country on an worldwide level in a sport you love in front of dozens of television cameras? Iran played toe-to-toe with Spain and deserved more from the match, but Spain's central defense made some important stops, got the victor in the second half and held on to move into a tie for first place with Portugal in Group B.

Carlos Queiroz's Iran side had gone close through Karim Ansarifard and Mehdi Taremi before the crucial offside call and their endeavour throughout seemed to endear them to the crowd at the Kazan Arena.

After a match played out to a deafening blare from vuvuzela horns from a huge army of Iranian fans, Spain will feel relieved to have emerged with maximum points.

The victor against Iran means he is one goal behind Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot, but Costa is not focused on individual honours.

Iran vs Spain : Hierro picks Carvajal
Spain: De Gea 6, Carvajal 7, Pique 6, Ramos 6, Alba 5, Iniesta 5, Busquets 6, Silva 5, Isco 7, Lucas Vazquez 5, Costa 7. Spain registered their first win at the 2018 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over a Iran in Kazan on Wednesday evening.

Spain continued to apply strong pressure in the second half and Beiranvand stopped a strike from Sergio Busquets in the 49th minute with a superb one-handed diving save. Spain lack width - Spain have often lacked width - but no longer have a midfield able to prevent opponents from having the ball, so need to score more goals.

First place in the group could be decided by goal difference.

His first game in charge saw Spain's World Cup opener end in a brilliant 3-3 draw with Portugal, though the scoreline perhaps did not tell the full story, as the European champions were helped by a rare David de Gea error and an exquisite late Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick.

It's not just slick play within the Spain team. The team also created a few excellent chances, including that missed header from Taremi in the 83rd minute.

Costa got so frustrated with Iran's defensive tactics that he approached Beiranvand and provocatively stepped on his toes, leaving the 'keeper in visible pain.

"What game were you watching", Costa replied.

Carvajal had the game's first half-chance in the fourth minute, but the right-back's effort from an advanced position was always too high.

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