But Hierro insists the problems posed by Iran – who thought they had equalised only for Saeid Ezatolahi’s effort to be ruled out by the video assistant referee – indicate there can be no guarantees in Russian Federation.
Queiroz said his players deserved huge credit for their battling performance after going down 1-0 to a freak Diego Costa goal and having a score of their own rubbed out after being reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Carlos Queiroz’s Iran side had gone close through Karim Ansarifard and Mehdi Taremi before the crucial offside call and their endeavour throughout seemed to endear them to the crowd at the Kazan Arena. Iran has three points, but Morocco has been eliminated. “If we had six more months (without it) maybe we would have had a point – but it is good for the credibility of football”.
“I have to commend Spain for their patience and they just kept on playing and plucked away as we say in football and eventually it paid dividends”.
Now, Spain and Portugal are in command of this group with one win and one draw apiece.
Spain was mostly risky from set-pieces, including in the 25th minute when a free kick from David Silva that took a deflection was stopped by Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand.
“It’s a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny”, said Isco. “The important thing today was to win”, he added.
Iran sits in third with three points in Group B behind Portugal and Spain who each have four points. Portugal take on Iran in their final game, which is now a victor takes all contest.
It was not until the 25th minute that Spain had a shot on target, with Silva sending a free kick straight into the arms of keeper Ali Beiranvand.
A fortuitous Diego Costa goal helped Spain overcome a dogged Iran to secure a 1-0 win in their World Cup Group B clash in Kazan.
His gesture went unpunished, and the Atletico Madrid striker required another stroke of luck on 54 minutes when his shot came off Ramin Rezaeian to beat Beiranvand after he had been sent through by Andres Iniesta.
Asked about his gesture afterwards, Costa lashed out by claiming Iran had been the main culprits. “They were provoking us, and we were on the grass all the time”.