Costa saves Spain blushes against dogged Iran

Angelo Anderson
June 21, 2018

The sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui before the tournament was followed by a last-minute equaliser by Portugal in their opening game.

Iran sat deep and took a lot of unlocking, but Isco always seemed like he'd be able to find a way.

Spain threatened again five minutes after the restart when a long-range shot from Sergio Busquets was parried by Alireza Beiranvand, who then recovered well to claw the ball away just as Lucas Vazquez looked set to pounce. "We know we still need to improve but hopefully as we do that we will keep winning".

"We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession". If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come.

Yet, whilst the Iranians may have failed to register the win they pushed Spain hard and will consider themselves unlucky with a battling rearguard performance which saw the Europeans struggle to breakdown a resolute Iran defence.

Special RT World Cup host Peter Schmeichel has given his expert analysis on a highly-charged encounter between Spain and Iran at Kazan Arena, which was decided by a dubious Diego Costa goal. There is no doubt Spain play wonderful, stylish football but I thought we deserved a better result.

Check out the brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod hosted by Dion Fanning and Paddy McKenna featuring Roy Keane rage, goal machine Ronaldo and why Sepp Blatter really loves Ireland.

"If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final", the former Bafana Bafana coach told reporters.

"We left the pitch 1-0 down, but we won respect".

"Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible".

Iran needed a late goal to top Morocco by a final score of 1-0.

The Real Madrid defender was only playing because his club-mate and first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal was injured, but he came close to writing himself into World Cup history by thrashing home a spectacular half-volley from the edge of the box to give Spain a 3-2 lead.

Iran remain on three points and can reach the knockout rounds for the first time with victory over Portugal. That shows what this team is all about.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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