Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Spain back on track after nervous win over Iran

Spain back on track after nervous win over Iran

Perhaps the team is running scared, fearful of what has happened in the past and what could happen, as if they had forgotten that 1-0 that sealed the World Cup for them in South Africa in 2010, something that would explain their ability to attack but complete lack of defending, something that was clear to see last night in their second group match, against Iran.

Spanish playmaker Isco say Wednesday's match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russian Federation following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

RECENT FORM:IRAN:Team Melli has been in fine form following their first game win against Morocco.

With Iran sitting top of Group B following their 1-0 win over Morocco and determined to produce the game of their lives, Spain can ill afford to slip-up.

Iniesta, who scored Spain's extra-time victor on their way to victory over the Netherlands in South Africa in 2010, is playing his final World Cup having recently ended his long and successful club career with Barcelona to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

They said he could not score.

It proved the only goal of an entertaining match, although Iran saw one attempt chalked off for offside with help of the VAR. But, like they say, don't use your head where it is not needed.


After a goalless first-half, Diego Costa broke the deadlock for Spain in the 54th minute after his shot bounced past Ali Beiranvand into the bottom-left corner after meeting a pass from Andres Iniesta. Spanish midfielder Iniesta nicely assisted Costa, scoring the first goal. "We're a team and we have to stick together". They said his style of play was not right for the national team.

"We are a team that plays direct, open and I hope we do not have rivals that put many players in their area".

The draw came just two days after Spain's campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-times European champions after the tournament.

The entire first half the Spaniards held at the gates of Iran, but in addition to a total ball control "Furia Roja" nothing has been able to offer one of the best defense in Asia. I believe we have already shown this: "in hard situation, we always unite and are able to show our best", he said, adding that the team will play better to show how much they miss their brother Cheshmi.

Yet, this World Cup has already been a tournament of upsets, with underdogs rising to the occasion and stunning their more-illustrious opponents.

Iran approached the match with a defensive gameplan in mind.

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