Costa grabs lucky goal as relieved Spain edge Iran 1-0

The incident came ahead of Saudi Arabia’s match with Uruguay. Pic GettyMore

They blew their vuvuzelas.

The Atletico Madrid star scored the only goal as La Roja beat Iran, but it was his overall performance as opposed to his goal which pleased his coach.

2010 World Champions Spain escaped in a hard-fought battle against Asian giants Iran in FIFA World Cup 2018 Group-B tie at the Kazan Arean in Russian Federation riding on a solitary effort from Diego Costa in the second-half. As the Spanish striker turned around the Iranian goalkeeper started jumping in pain.

Following a first win at the World Cup since 1998, Carlos Queiroz hailed his side's win over Morroco as lovely. We all know it's tough to play them.

Spain are now level at top with their Iberian neighbours, Portugal, who also had a slim 1-0 win against Morocco.

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.

And for much of this game, the Iranians looked like they could fend off their favored adversaries even as Spain dominated possession and camped out in their attacking third of the field. There was a single shot on target between the two teams and Iran committed all 11 men to defense, opting to boot the ball back to the Spanish rather than trying to engineer an attack of their own.

Fernando Hierro has also included forward Lucas Vazquez, with Koke making way as Spain's new coach seeks more dynamism to unlock a cagey Iran defence at Kazan Arena. 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.

The difference between the quality of Spain and Iran is well known.

The 100,000 capacity Azadi Stadium in Tehran will allow both men and women in witnessing Iran play 2010 World Cup winners Spain. Iran won its opener against Morocco 1-0.

However, consultation with the video assistant referee saw the goal correctly ruled out for offside.

He kissed the ball, then head-butted it, and then tried a somersault throw-in, which went horribly wrong. But he just did the tumble without throwing the ball, after which he attempted a normal toss that did not turn into the goal the Iranians needed. "Football is not like this but it is fair to say we deserved a better result", said Queiroz.

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