Spain coach Fernando Hierro warns players to take nothing for granted

REUTERS  Pilar Olivares

REUTERS Pilar Olivares

A goal early in the second period by Diego Costa was enough for Spain to defeat a battling Iran 1-0 and get their World Cup back on track.

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Iran, making their fifth appearance in the World Cup final, face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Saransk five days later. Collective sighs ran through the La roja Camp and fans in stands as the goal was nullified and they were confirmed to be still leading the game.

But it was cruel on Iran and fortunate for Costa as the Atletico Madrid striker fired the ball against Ramin Rezaeian but it deflected back off the Spain player and into goal.

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All three games today ended 1-0. Spain lack width - Spain have often lacked width - but no longer have a midfield able to prevent opponents from having the ball, so need to score more goals.

"The truth is I had a bit of luck [with the goal],” he said after the game". This shows their pressing need and desperation to win tonight's game. Iran are a great team, with clear ideas.

On this evidence, the Spaniard certainly seems in fine fettle and naturally seemed to find more of a foothold in this one than he did during the draw with Portugal. The game will kick off in a few moments. The problem was that Iran left no space in behind, and Vazquez, hardly a superior combination player, looked a man out of sync with his teammates when building in front of the defence.

At times the game was nearly the attack of Spain against the defence of Iran such was the Spaniards dominance. It appeared that Beiranvand exaggerated his pain after Costa stood on his foot. In the opening exchanges, Spain chose to attack mainly on the left with schemers Iniesta, Isco, and left-back Jordi Alba being heavily involved.

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The victor against Iran means he is one goal behind Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot, but Costa is not focused on individual honours. "We knew it was going to be very hard and, sure enough, it was a very complex game", Hierro said during his post-match interview.

"We have four points", Hierro said.

When is FIFA World Cup 2018 Iran vs Spain match?

Milad Mohammadi, a fullback for Iran, made one of the biggest fails of the World Cup so far in a group stage match against Spain on Wednesday.

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