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Costa grabs lucky goal as relieved Spain edges Iran

21 June, 2018, 19:49 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • REUTERS  Dylan Martinez

But while lady luck smiled on Spain, the same was not to be said for Iran, whose efforts went unrewarded - Spain left breathing a collective sigh of relief on a day they were far from "Supermen".

Iran will next face a tough Portugal team, but proved its mettle during the bout with Spain despite being heavily overmatched on paper.

Let's look at the Iran vs. Spain betting lines.

There were times, in this contest, that you felt he needed to bring a bit more pace and zip to his end product and passing and lead by example with Iniesta's natural decline in the final third and Isco's quiet display.

With three points from their opening win against Morocco, Iran can still qualify for the knockout round but will need to beat Portugal on Monday in Saransk.

A reported 15,000 Iranians made the trip to Kazan and, judging from the deafening, continuous humming of air horns and whistles inside the stadium, each and every one of them - plus some locals cheering on Rubin star Sardar Azmoun - was crammed into the arena.

Diego Costa was involved in bust-ups with Iran's players.

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.

Still, Iran continued to push forward with Mehdi Taremi emerging as their likeliest source of an equaliser. Iran was also unsafe on the break, using the speed of its attacking players to threaten the Spanish back four but without creating many real chances.

Unfortunately for the 15,000-plus raucous Iranians in the crowd their joy was short-lived as the VAR confirmed the assistant referee's on-field decision that Saeid Ezatolahi had been marginally offside in the build-up.

Spain pushed hard after the break, with Sergio Busquets unleashing a searing long-range strike that forced Beiranvand into a brilliant double save. The Iranians were awarded a freekick which they fail to goal in on!

It's not just slick play within the Spain team. The win extended Spain's unbeaten run to 22 games, the longest active unbeaten run in global football.

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

Costa was involved in plenty of battles during the match and was accused of stamping on the foot of Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in the first half.

Many watching the game did not quite know what to make of his failure.

"It was us on the ground all the time. You can't just say that because it's your national team playing".

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