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Spain beat Iran 1-0 with Costa's third goal of World Cup

Reuters logo Reuters 20-06-2018

a group of people playing football on a field: World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain

World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain
© REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Spain squeezed 1-0 past dogged Iran in their World Cup Group B encounter on Wednesday thanks to a fortuitous goal from Diego Costa, but the Europeans suffered a string of second-half scares.

The veteran forward notched his third goal in two games when Ramin Rezaeian's attempted clearance bounced off the Spaniard's leg and into the net in the 54th minute.

a man holding a football ball on a field: World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain © REUTERS/John Sibley World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain

Though Spain had besieged the Iranian goal in the first half, they were on the back foot for parts of the second, with Karim Ansarifard rifling into the side netting, and Saeid Ezatolahi having a goal ruled out for offside by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.

a group of football players on a field: World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain © REUTERS/John Sibley World Cup - Group B - Iran vs Spain

The result left Spain joint top of their group with Portugal on four points, but Iran close behind on three going into the third and final set of games. After two defeats, Morocco are out.

(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Also watch: Uruguay, Russia Reach World Cup Knockout Phase

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