5 things we learnt from Spain’s win over resilient Iran

Diego Costa Spain 2018

For 2010 World Cup champion Spain, the draw had felt more like a defeat, especially given the team's inspired performance in spite of a tumultuous few days marked by their abrupt change in coaches on the eve of the tournament.

Diego Costa struck again for Spain to seal a 1-0 win over World Cup Group B opponents Iran, who had a goal disallowed for offside. On one occasion, in the 39th minute, Diego Costa objected after Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand began jumping in pain, insisting to the referee that Costa had stamped on his foot.

Spain resumed in more positive fashion after the break, Beiranvand forced to produce heroics twice in the space of four minutes.

Paces picked up in the second half with Spain desperate to make a breakthrough.

They have yet to score a goal off their own boot this tournament and fans will have torn their hair out after Mehdi Taremi headed over the bar from six yards out in the 82nd minute. With Spain and Portugal both having secured a win and a draw and Portugal expected to trounce Iran on Monday, both Iberian countries will nearly certainly proceed to the knockout stage of the tournament, leaving Morocco and Iran out of the running. Incredibly, they mustered just one shot on target in the first half - despite enjoying more than 80 percent of possession.

Meanwhile, Spain opened the 2018 World Cup with an exciting game against Portugal last Friday.

"I admire him so much", he said.

Iran, still on three points following their opening win over Morocco, won't give up on their "dream" of a place in the last 16, said their Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz.

He knows the Spanish internationals very well, and they all seem ready to listen to the new boss. But, like they say, don't use your head where it is not needed.

Standings: Portugal 4, Spain 4, Iran - 3, Morocco - 0. The team has its good moments, some that are just OK, and others that are bad or very bad, whether its rival on the pitch is Portugal or Iran.

He added that Portugal are a great team with fantastic players but Iran will not be afraid of attacking.

"We only care about sporting matters", he said. "There are 32 brilliant teams here".

After Wednesday, Team Melli will finish their group stage campaign on June 25 against Portugal, which will pose a different but equally hard obstacle. If anyone thinks it is going to be easy, and to win by a landslide, they are wrong.

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