Costa's fluke goal helps Spain win against Iran

World Cup: Lucky Diego Costa goal sees Spain past tenacious Iran

Spanish playmaker Isco say Wednesday's match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russian Federation following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

The break finally came in the 54th minute after Iniesta played the ball to the Spanish striker to score his 3rd goal of the tournament.

It was far from a attractive win, but the goal was enough to make Spain coach Fernando Hierro smile.

It has since been reported that the member of staff has been discharged from hospital and has rejoined the camp, ready for Iran's crunch Group B game against Portugal in Saransk on Monday.

Diego Costa's fortunate goal settled a tight contest in Kazan, moving Spain level on points with Portugal at the top of Group B.

Costa, who also scored two goals in the opening match, has three goals at this year's World Cup, trailing Ronaldo by one.

Spain started slow, with no trouble being posed on either side of the coin. "He's available", said Hierro.

Iran approached the match with a defensive gameplan in mind. He works hard, fights both at the back and front.

"We're in a win-win situation because it's a unique opportunity for our national team to learn more about the game and to grow as players".

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Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was a big fan of Fernando Hierro the player.

He got down on his knee, as if to ask the bird for permission, and then - after a bit of cajoling - picked the bird up softly in his hands, before running to the sideline and placing him away from the pitch.

Hierro's players were nearly caught against the run of the play when Karim Ansarifard unleashed a powerful strike that ended up in the side-netting following a long thrown in.

After 10 minutes, the Iranians managed to send the ball into the net, but the referee for offside, rightly cancelled the goal of Sayyid Assadollahi.

A draw would give the group to Russian Federation as it leads all countries with a plus-7 goal differential.

An Iran win, though improbable on paper, will take them to the Round-of-16, while weakening the 2010 edition winners' chances of progressing to the next round.

Diego Costa was the match victor for Fernando Hierro's side in the encounter after they were held to an enthralling 3-3 draw last Friday by Portugal.

A majority of Spain players were reportedly in favour of Lopetegui staying on for the tournament after Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales made the move to fire the coach.

Win or lose, Spain's outspoken central defenders aren't wary of controversy.

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