Iran national team staffer taken to hospital after goal against Spain disallowed

Mae Harvey
June 21, 2018

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

Not an impressive result for Spain, who didn't look almost as sharp in attack as they did in the 3-3 draw against Portugal to open the tournament.

Iran, though, did not lie down as other teams have done in this World Cup, instead laying into Spain with everything they had. But a lack of a killer pass in the final third deprived them of a memorable draw against the mighty Spain.

Fernando Hierro has also included forward Lucas Vazquez, with Koke making way as Spain's new coach seeks more dynamism to unlock a cagey Iran defence at Kazan Arena.

Diego Costa rejected claims he intentionally stamped on Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand during a tense 1-0 win over Iran but admitted his crucial match-winner for Spain came down to "luck".

An Iran coach had to be hospitalized after officials ruled Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi offside on an apparent equalizing goal against Spain.

Many watching the game did not quite know what to make of his failure.

Iran threw more caution to the wind in the last 15 minutes or so but Silva was a calming presence on the ball in the midfield, and just what they needed.

Iran's soccer team is keeping hopes alive of advancing to the World Cup's round of 16, even after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Spain left them on the ropes.

Spain struggled to break down Carlos Queiroz's organised side but moved level with Portugal on four points at the top of Group B.

"We knew how hard it would be". At half time we corrected some things and improved after the goal.

Spain now on four points after two games need a draw against Morocco in their final group game next Monday to advance to the next round of the competition. Iran's goalie Beiranvand captured David Silva's free-kick with great ease. Iran's lanky goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand nearly messed up the save, but managed to put the ball out of danger before a lurking Vasquez could take advantage.

Queiroz had no doubt about the size of the task facing his side when he spoke to the worldwide media on Tuesday, accepting "Iran don't have supermen like Spain, but we can do super things" as he plotted the unlikely downfall of a team battling suggestions of crisis.

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