By Izuchukwu Okosi
Spain defeated Iran 1-0 in their second Group B game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday evening to go joint tops with Portugal with identical goal difference and four points apiece.
A deflected goal off the foot of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa was all the 2010 champions needed to claim victory over a stubborn Iran’s side.
The Iranians started this game defensively well organised.
David Silva’s 24th minute freekick deflected off an Iranian player but luckily for did not wrong foot Ali Beiranvard, their goalkeeper.
Beiranvard had quick double saves to deny Sergio Busquets and an advancing Lucas Vazquez three minutes into the second half.
Karim Ansarifad fired a shot from inside the Spaniards’ box which hit the side net but few seconds later Spain was ahead with Diego Costa getting the final touch after the ball had deflected off the body of Ramin Raezaian.
The goal conceded did not dampen the Iranian players and Mehdi Taremi had a header that went off target by whiskers at the hour mark.
A supposed goal by Carlos Queiroz’s men shortly after the previous attempt was cancelled by the VAR decision as a player was deemed to be at an offside position.
Mehdi was presented with a good chance with eight minutes left on the clock but his header off a good cross by Vahid Amiri was directed above the Spanish goal post.
Iran tried as much as they could but it ended with the odd goal.