World Cup 2018: 3 things that went right for Spain against Iran
Spain got their first win of the tournament with a narrow 1-0 win over Iran in the World Cup Group B encounter between the two sides at the Kazan Arena last night.
Fernando Hierro's men were made to work their socks off by a determined Iranian side who fought tooth and nail to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
Carlos Queiroz's side resorted to sitting deep in their own half and not giving an inch to the Spanish players to operate effectively in the first 45 minutes.
However Spain finally found a way through in the 54th minute when Andres Iniesta's pass invited Diego Costa to find the back of the net for his 3rd goal of the tournament.
Iran almost crawled their way back into the game when Saeid Ezatolahi scored from a set-piece six minutes late, but the goal was retrospectively ruled out for offside after the intervention of VAR, after replays suggested that the midfielder had just strayed offside in the build-up to the goal.
The result now means that Spain and Portugal are currently tied at 4 points each while Iran are in close pursuit of the European heavyweights with 3 points from their 2 games so far. Qualification from Group B could go down to the wire and without further delay, let's take a closer look at three factors that helped Spain get over the line against Iran:
The VAR and intervention of technology continues to be the main talking point of the tournament's group stages so far and yesterday was no different.
Referee Andres Cunha, who was previously involved in the penalty incident during the game between France and Australia, was yet again involved in another retrospective decision that ruled out Iran's equalizer on the night.
Saeid Ezatolahi was involved in a scramble in front of goal before he tucked the ball past David De Gea following a well worked free-kick routine from 30 yards out to provide what looked like Iran's lifeline.
However, the celebrations were cut-short when the referee confirmed that VAR will intervene, and soon the decision was made to rule the goal out for offside.
VAR had yet again broken the hearts of a nation and Iran became the first side to be denied a goal through its intervention in a World Cup game.