Costa lifts Spain to 1-0 win over Iran

World Cup 2018 Spain Aim To Leave

Coach Carlos Queiroz said Iran will soak up the experience of facing World Cup contenders Spain on Wednesday but warned the Lions of Persia will produce their "best game ever" as they strive to cause the shock of the tournament.

Diego Costa has denied stamping on Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand after scoring the only goal for Spain in the hard-fought victory over the middle eastern nation on Wednesday.

Costa claimed his third goal of the tournament in the 54th minute at Kazan Arena but the striker hardly knew about it, the ball deflecting off his knee from an attempted clearance by hapless Iran defender Ramin Rezaeian.

But Hierro insists the problems posed by Iran - who thought they had equalised only for Saeid Ezatolahi's effort to be ruled out by the video assistant referee - indicate there can be no guarantees in Russian Federation.

Federation Internationale de Football Association statistics showed that Spain made 17 attempts at the goal throughout the match, while Iran made only five.

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With a win and defeat in two matches, Iran have three points now and will be desperately eager to beat Portugal in their next match on Monday in Saransk to qualify for the last 16. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent.

'We're more concerned because one member of our staff is in difficulties from a health point of view after the VAR decision, ' Queiroz said.

Hierro, who scored 29 goals in an 89-cap career with Spain, was promoted from his role as sporting director in time for their crunch opener with Portugal.

In the 62nd minute of the game, Iran had earned a free-kick.

After parking the bus for so long, the Iranian team searched for an equalizer.

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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. "We're a team and we have to stick together".

Lucas Vazquez was the surprise name in Fernando Hierro's XI, one of two changes on the night, the other being Dani Carvajal at full-back to form a new-look right side.

Iran frustrated Spain in the first half, limiting the 2010 World Cup winners to just one shot on target despite their 80% possession of the ball.

But Hierro, like Iniesta, has no intention of being the man who steered Spain to an unthinkable World Cup disaster. Iran, meanwhile, face Portugal on the same day needing a win to progress at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.

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