Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Spain coach Fernando Hierro warns players to take nothing for granted

Spain coach Fernando Hierro warns players to take nothing for granted

Following a thrilling 3-3 draw to Portugal on Friday, Spain will look to bounce back against an Iran side high on confidence after their late win against Morocco. Whatever you've got planned for Monday night, cancel it.

Taremi's back-post header fizzed over De Gea's crossbar seven minutes from time as Iran pushed for an equaliser, but Spain held on for a 1-0 win they certainly deserved.

But there was Silva, picking the ball up once again in added time and ensuring Spain maintained possession to see the game out.

But after half-time Spain did a better job of keeping the width, and the goal, scored on 55 minutes when Ramin Rezaeian poked the ball against Diego Costa, had been coming.

Iran is going into the game against Spain with a win against Morocco. After some confusion, VAR was consulted, upheld the original decision, and play eventually resumed.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz had rung in the changes, dropping captain Masoud Shojaei and forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh to the bench, while recalling holding midfielder Ezatolahi from suspension and promoting Mehdi Taremi. Vazquez runs about a lot, but doesn't have the skill to beat his man with any regularity, and is far less of a goal threat too.

Any thoughts that Iran would be blown away by their more illustrious opponents soon dissipated as their expertly drilled defence comfortably rebuffed wave after wave of Spanish attack in the opening stages. Subs: Mohammadi 6, Jahanbakhsh 6, Ghoddos 6.

SHOWED POWERS OF ENDURANCE: Iniesta, as expected, departed with 20 minutes left and Vazquez - who struggled to make much of an impact - soon followed. Subs: Koke 6, Asensio 6, Rodrigo 6. It was a defense-first game, with only a single goal scored throughout.

Facing a very compact Iranian team that came out to defend, Spain pressed high and controlled much of the game but found it hard to threaten against Iran's 10-man defence.

Hierro, who took over after Julen Lopetegui was sacked last week, heaped praise on striker Diego Costa, who notched a scrappy 54th minute goal that was his third of the tournament. A classic Costa finish!

Needing a goal, Iran changed strategy and it almost paid off when Saeid Ezatolahi thought he had leveled but his goal was ruled out after the use of VAR.

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