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World Cup match report Iran v Spain 20 June 2018

Spain’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring a goal against Portugal last week

Although he refuses to take Carlos Queiroz's Asian heavyweights for granted, the 34-year-old Iniesta is intent on lifting a second World Cup trophy to add to the pair of European Championship titles he won with Spain in 2008 and 2012.

Iran approached the match with a defensive gameplan in mind. A single goal can condemn a team, or make it a champion, an enormous difference that Spain needs to be aware of if it is to regain their confidence after such a awful match against Iran.

Diego Costa's fortunate goal settled a tight contest in Kazan, moving Spain level on points with Portugal at the top of Group B. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent. His team qualified for the tournament unbeaten and produced its first win at the World Cup since 1998 with a 1-0 win over Morocco in its opening game.

Iran had the ball in the back of the net just eight minutes later courtesy of Saeid Ezatolahi, but their wild celebrations were cut short after referee Andres Cunha was advised by VAR that Rezaeian's vital intervention had been made from an offside position.

Confirming that 'keeper David De Gea would start against Iran, Hierro said he wants "a win that would give us an advantage in the group".

The Wednesday night game in Kazan was heading to be the first goalless draw in the 2018 World Cup before Costa's 54th-minute goal.

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Like many great footballing dynasties, though, it is probably true to say that the Spain side could probably run itself given the wealth of experience at the core of the team.

"If there was a magic potion to compare (Iran) to the Spanish team for a million dollars, we would buy it, it would be cheap". Their one and only World Cup win came in 2010, as a golden generation of Spanish players entertained the world with their brand of passing football on their way to lifting the trophy against the Netherlands in South Africa.

Iran will be without defender Roozbeh Cheshmi, who will miss the remainder of the World Cup after picking up an injury during training.

Iran's approach was far more positive following Costa's strike, Mehdi Taremi heading just over from close range in what was their clearest opportunity to find an unlikely leveller.

Queiroz, a former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, sounded a defiant message, saying Spain could boss the match technically but could not control how much Iran will fight.

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