Costa helps Spain clinch lucky 1-0 win vs Iran

Costa helps Spain clinch lucky 1-0 win vs Iran

Iran began their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco but Queiroz has admitted they will have to produce their "best game ever" if they are to fulfil their aim of causing an almighty World Cup upset.

Costa scored in the 54th minute after being set up by Andres Iniesta.

Needing a goal, Iran changed strategy and it almost paid off when Saeid Ezatolahi thought he had leveled but his goal was ruled out after the use of VAR.

The next time a ball is aimed perfectly at his head at the far post, with eight minutes of a critical World Cup tie to play, he will launch his 6-foot-2 frame at the ball, time his leap perfectly and send the net billowing.

What's the one thing you don't want to do when representing your country on an worldwide level in a sport you love in front of dozens of television cameras?

But it was always going to be a big ask of Iran to pull off a shock result in this first ever meeting of the teams with history also against them as they had lost five of their six previous fixtures against European opposition at the World Cup, drawing the other. Spain will control possession and territory and create enough chances for Diego Costa or one of his fellow attackers to finish.

Spain pushed hard after the break, with Sergio Busquets unleashing a searing long-range strike that forced Beiranvand into a brilliant double save.

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First place in the group could be decided by goal difference.

Spain will face Morroco in their final group stage game on Monday, June 25 while Iran will face Portugal on the same day.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.

Spain's pre-tournament coaching debacle marred the start of their campaign, with Julen Lopetegui quitting 24 hours before Russian Federation 2018 commenced - but they remain amongst the favorites for the title due to the strength of their current playing squad.

In the final quarter hour Iran battled for a late equaliser, but after Vahid Amiri showed class to nutmeg Pique deep on the left and fire over an inviting cross, Taremi's thundering header flew just over the bar as a relieved De Gea looked on.

Time and time again we've seen goalkeepers come off their lines time in a bid to be their team's hero and score the goal they so desperately need.

You can stream the World Cup games on fuboTV (Try for free).

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