Iran national team staffer taken to hospital after goal against Spain disallowed

Spain's Isco says that the FIFA World Cup 2018 match with Iran will shape team’s destiny

Spain's Isco says that the FIFA World Cup 2018 match with Iran will shape team’s destiny

"Carlos is an fantastic coach", Spain manager Fernando Hierro said.

Few would argue that the Spanish did not deserve the three points given the way they dominated nearly all of the contest, but Team Melli deserve plenty of plaudits firstly for doing their best to keep their star-studded opponents at bay and then giving them a real scare after they had fallen behind. Overall, the Iranians were the more pleased of the two at the end of the first half, and their fans made their feelings known by cheering loudly as the players walked off the pitch.

The 24-year-old full-back, who has been capped 20 times for his home country, ended up costing his team a valuable 30 seconds in the dying stages of the game, only for Spain to come back and claim the match with a final score of 1 - 0.

The most naturally gifted player in the Iran squad, Azmoun - who plays his football in Kazan for Rubin - was fairly prominent in attack against Morocco.

Coming up against a determined Iran outfit, La Furia Roja got the victor nine minutes after halftime when Diego Costa found the bottom corner via a deflection.

Portugal's mental fortitude has yet to be tested so far, and they will be uncomfortable facing an Iranian side that will hand them possession.

45+2' - First sight of goal for Spain! "He can do better, he works hard, he is fighting both at the back and at the front".

"But we kept the clean sheet despite the chances they have had - they are three very important points".

Nearly immediately, Spain took the lead through Diego Costa's unintended shot.

The stakes were high, and Iran continued to the threaten heavily favored Spain for the rest of the match, but couldn't break through.

Hierro's players were nearly caught against the run of the play when Karim Ansarifard unleashed a powerful strike that ended up in the side-netting following a long thrown in.

Iran threw more caution to the wind in the last 15 minutes or so but Silva was a calming presence on the ball in the midfield, and just what they needed. The result? Spain had only one shot on goal in a tepid first half, that too off a plain David Silva free-kick. With that in mind, an opening draw against Portugal and now a win against Iran would have been considered ideal.

The match lived up to billing in terms of the tactics: Spain played the merry-go-round with the ball in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Isco and Andres Iniesta frequently swapping positions. Iran now faces a must-win match next Monday against Portugal.

Iran is going into the game against Spain with a win against Morocco. The team's last loss was against Italy in the round of 16 at the 2016 European Championship.

Named the man of the match, Costa took umbrage when he was asked why he played aggressively.

Iran: Beiranvand 7, Ramin 8, Hosseini 8, Pouraliganji 7, Haji Safi 8, Ezatolahi 7, Omid 7, Karim 6, Mehdi 7, Amiri 7, Azmoun 8.

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