Costa strikes as Spain survive Iran scare

Spain manager Fernando Hierro on the sidelines during their opening 2018 World Cup match against Portugal- World Cup 2018 Iran vs Spain What time is kick-off tomorrow what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction

"We were not lying yesterday when we said in the press conference Iran is a tough team", said Spain coach Fernando Hierro, who replaced the sacked Julen Lopetegui only two days before their opening match against Portugal.

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.

Iran, FIFA's 37th ranked team, surprisingly leads the group thanks to its 1-0 win over Morocco in their tournament opener.

Despite the frustration of conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Ronaldo following two goals from Diego Costa and a stunning strike from Nacho, Isco believes Spain's resolve remains intact.

However, consultation with the video assistant referee saw the goal correctly ruled out for offside.

Then, trailing in the second half, Iran almost equalized when Saeid Ezatolahi had a goal ruled out on video review.

Iran nearly took the lead after the break when Karim Ansarifard shot into the side netting then Mehdi Taremi headed narrowly wide, only for Costa to deflate their chances.

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Spain was mostly unsafe from set-pieces, including in the 25th minute when a free kick from David Silva that took a deflection was stopped by Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand. But he admitted his crucial match-winner came down to "luck".

The fact he continued to hassle Iran's defenders on a night when he was so often crowded out of the game is to his credit and, after scoring twice against Portugal, he looks to have made the lone striker role his own.

The game against Iran will be interesting as Spain need to win this match if they want to keep their World Cup journey alive and a draw will be a troublesome result.

Spain will face Morocco in its final match on Monday in Kaliningrad, while Portugal plays Iran in Saransk on the same day.

Costa was accused of standing on the foot of Iran's Ali Beiranvand.

A lucky Diego Costa goal handed World Cup hopefuls Spain their first win of the World Cup although dogged Iran came close to causing a major upset on Wednesday (Jun 20).

"In the first half they were provoking us all the time".

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