Hierro's Spain must breach the wall that Carlos built

Hierro's Spain must breach the wall that Carlos built

Hierro's Spain must breach the wall that Carlos built

Spain star Isco was praised on Wednesday after taking time out before his country's crucial World Cup group game with Iran to safely escort an injured bird off the pitch. The Atletico Madrid striker showed his individual class and poaching instincts with both goals and will be charged with breaking the deadlock against a mean Iranian defence.

Iran did get the ball in the net with Saeid Ezatolahi, but VAR disallowed the goal for an offside position after several very tense minutes.

Dani Carvajal told AS after the game that while he has no problem with defending deeply and committing fouls, "Iran's time-wasting, pretending to be injured or hurt - to me, that's not football, it's disloyal".

Portugal now leads the group with 4 points followed by Spain also with 4 points but with a lower goal difference.

Spain, though, saw out the win to join Portugal on four points at the top of the group following their victory earlier in the day, while Iran are one point adrift ahead of the final round of group matches. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent.

"We only care about sporting matters", he said.

Spain drew their first game against Portugal in the World Cup.

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Queiroz, a former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, sounded a defiant message, saying Spain could boss the match technically but could not control how much Iran will fight.

Iran responded six minutes later and were unlucky not to have leveled scores.

Fernando Hierro had an abrupt answer to those asking questions about his tactics and strategies at the World Cup.

Iran continued to have the better of the efforts as the half wore on, with Mehdi Taremi missing two glorious chances.

While it remains to be seen if he will start or not, Hierro will surely feel tempted to select him following a shaky display from Nacho Fernandez at right-back against Portugal.

"The team sits back and that is a tactical strategy that is part of the game", Carvajal said.

Hierro acknowledged his own team will need to improve after they allowed themselves to grow frustrated with Iran's dogged defensive performance until Costa's timely breakthrough. Silva had a shot blocked from close range and another one deflected behind towards the end of the first half, but that was about as good as it got for the 2010 World Cup winners in the first 45 minutes.

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