World Cup 2018: Spain Beats Iran and Gets Closer to the Knockout Stages

World Cup 2018
Spain striker Diego Costa has just scored the goal of the victory against Iran on June 20, 2018 in Kazan.

Spain won on Wednesday against Iran in pain. The team, however, is approaching the knockout stages and hopes to join Russia and Uruguay.

Spain broke through the Persian wall: Roja suffered but she found the key against Iran (1-0) Wednesday at the World Cup 2018 on a lucky goal from Diego Costa, joining Portugal at the top of Group B and getting closer to the knockout stages of the competition .

Already scoring a double against the Portuguese (3-3), Costa scored his third goal in the World Cup almost unintentionally, an Iranian defender having cleared the ball on his knee (54th).

“I had a bit of luck on the goal but I’m happy because it was a very hot match,” said the Hispano-Brazilian. “The Iranians were behind us and we knew we had to be patient. ”

This unattractive goal perfectly summed up a tense match where Iran defended fiercely, smothering the alluring Spanish game. And the team coached by Carlos Queiroz narrowly missed the hold-up on a goal denied to Saeid Ezatolahi for offside (63) after consultation with the video referees, while the “Team Melli” already celebrated his feat.

This frustrated joy sums up the feelings of the spectators in front of this football porridge, served in the heady buzz of the “vuvuzelas”, these trumpets popularized at the 2010 World Cup, which had to bring back good memories to the Spaniards, who were crowned that year.

Iran's Vahid Amiri (l) against Spaniard Dani Carvajal on June 20, 2018 in Kazan.
Iran’s Vahid Amiri (l) against Spaniard Dani Carvajal on June 20, 2018 in Kazan. (© AFP / Luis Acosta)


For La Roja, the key is here: this first victory allows Spain to join Portugal with 4 points in front, ahead of Iran (3 pts) . And on the last day, she will have the advantage of facing Morocco, already eliminated, to try to qualify and to secure the first place in the pool. A draw would ensure in any case a place in the final table.

The Portuguese, executioners of the Moroccans in the afternoon (1-0) thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, will for their part to coltiner Iran and it will certainly not be pleasant, so Spain has toiled Wednesday.

The first period looked like a bad caricature of attack-defense, the Iranians clearing at the punch while Spain, turning around the surface, searched in vain for the opening.

Central defenders Gerard Piqué, who was the 100th selection, and Sergio Ramos have often found themselves in the opposing forty meters to bring in vain the excess against the Iranian wall. And the actual playing time of the first period was incredibly low as Iran broke the game …

La Roja could have lost everything

In this context, the danger often came from the small Spanish leader Isco (31st), omnipresent, with David Silva to try to conclude, without success (19th, 25th, 30th, 42nd, 45th + 1).

Faced with the first headache of his freshly appointed coaching mandate, Fernando Hierro chose … not to change anything.

And the result proved him right since his master to play Andrés Iniesta, who had no more gas in the engine at the hour of play, still found the inspiration to break through and serve Costa. The latter pivoted and unintentionally countered the clearance of a defender, sending the ball flush with the post (54th).

After outrageously dominating, La Roja could have lost everything if the referee had validated the recovery of Ezatolahi (62), in front of a David de Gea still unhappy. But while all the Iranian substitutes invaded the field as if to celebrate a world title, the whistle man listened in the headset what slipped his colleagues in front of the video and canceled the goal for offside.

“I think we deserved a little more at the end of the match,” lamented Queiroz, praising “the warlike attitude of (his) players, who should have brought something back.”

But Spain held its victory and this 22nd consecutive game without defeat for Roja rewards the team that wanted to create, against the one who wished to destroy.

World-2018 - Group B: Iran-Spain.
World-2018 – Group B: Iran-Spain. (© AFP / Sophie RAMIS)

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