Iran may have suffered defeat in their second World Cup game at Russian Federation 2018, but the occasion could yet prove to be a huge victory for Iranian women back home. The kickoff of the second half, however, saw the Spanish side pick of momentum in their chase for a goal, creating a couple of chances.
The strike sparked wild celebrations before being ruled out for offside by referee Andres Cunha on the advice of the the linesman and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) replay. A single goal can condemn a team, or make it a champion, an enormous difference that Spain needs to be aware of if it is to regain their confidence after such a terrible match against Iran.
Diego Costa kept his World Cup goalscoring run going as Spain edged a nervy 1-0 victory over Iran to boost their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent.
The tension last night was palpable on the Spain bench, which is headed by former Spanish Royal Football Federation (RFEF) sporting director Fernando Hierro, who stepped into the role just days before the team's first game, against Portugal (3-3).
The Iranian rally faltered when Silva found Costa in the area, and Rezaeian was desperately unlucky that his challenge ended pinging off the striker's knee and into the net.
It was his third goal of the World Cup having previously scored a brace against Portugal on Friday, while he worked tirelessly in attack, making himself a nuisance to the Iran defence. "We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won't be easy".
Iran sit top of the pile as the only Group B team with a win so far, an achievement that sparked incredible celebrations in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere throughout the Islamic republic.
But Hierro, like Iniesta, has no intention of being the man who steered Spain to an unthinkable World Cup disaster. If you think of it like tennis, we had one match point today and we will have another against Portugal.
Spain started slow, with no trouble being posed on either side of the coin. I know that Carlos really tried getting me [as a player], we have a very close relationship, we are close friends, but those playing are the players.
Iran continued to have the better of the efforts as the half wore on, with Mehdi Taremi missing two glorious chances.
Iran will face powerhouse Spain on Wednesday at the Kazan Arena.
Iran will also welcome back rising star Saeid Ezatolahi, who was suspended against Morocco, and - while it never seems wise to mess with a winning formula, the dynamic midfielder could prove impossible to omit.