Spain face date with destiny against Iran today

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa netted the only goal of the game, ensuring that the 2010 FIFA World Cup champions go level on points with Portugal in Group B.

Diego Costa's goal in the 54th minute sealed a unspectacular win against Iran, but it could have easily been more if Spain had converted their chances.

"We started well, but then we lost our rhythm because of frequent pauses".

Taremi's header sailed over harmlessly, however, leaving Spain to complete one of their tougher World Cup wins.

"Most of us have been playing together for many years and we know each other very well and we trust each other blindly". It will be a very hard tournament.

"We will keep on working for our dreams, and our dream is to try and qualify for the second round", said Queiroz.

That was soon ruled out and it was suggested he could return for Spain's final Group B match against Morocco, but Hierro said at a news conference on Tuesday that the full-back is available for selection after training for the past week.

Carvajal has not played since the 3-1 win over Liverpool and initially was said to be a doubt for the entire World Cup. Iran was also unsafe on the break, using the speed of its attacking players to threaten the Spanish back four but without creating many real chances.

Spain, looking to emulate their 2010 triumph when Andres Iniesta hit an extra-time victor to deny the Netherlands in the final, now sit top of Group B before a final match against Morocco, who restricted Portugal to a 1-0 win earlier on Wednesday.

Portugal now leads the group with 4 points followed by Spain also with 4 points but with a lower goal difference. "If we had six more months (without it) maybe we would have had a point - but it is good for the credibility of football".

These are five things we learnt from this game.

Nevertheless, consultation with the video assistant referee saw the goal correctly disallowed for offside.

Hierro, who scored 29 goals in an 89-cap career with Spain, was promoted from his role as sporting director in time for their crunch opener with Portugal.

Iran and Spain could not be separated at half-time, with David Silva enjoying perhaps the best chance of a goalless first half when his acrobatic attempt to score was closed down by the Team Melli defence.

Iran will face powerhouse Spain on Wednesday at the Kazan Arena.

The lovely act came after teammate Gerard Pique had attempted to throw the bird away gently from the pitch, after which the winged creature simply landed a few feet away. "We hope everything will be alright".

  • Kyle Peterson