Live Updates: Diego Costa strikes in the 54th minute here. He gets a good ball from Iniesta in the box and doesn't have any problem in netting the ball. Spain lead 1-0.
Spanish playmaker Isco says Wednesday's match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russia following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal. Champions in 2010 and among the favourites this year, Spain's World Cup ambitions were kept in check, almost single-handedly, by a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. The draw came just two days after Spain's campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-times European champions after the tournament.
Jun 21, 2018 1:24 am (IST)
SPAIN WIN: Spain hold on to their lead to register a 1-0 victory over Iran.
Jun 21, 2018 1:19 am (IST)
It's final two minutes of the match and Iran are still working hard to get their first goal. They have increased the frequency of attacks by a considerable margin. But can they find the net?
Jun 21, 2018 1:15 am (IST)
CHANCE: Iran nearly equalised. Amiri gets a great cross that beat Pique. Taremi comes in with a header but the ball goes over the goalpost. De Gea heaves a sigh of relief.
Jun 21, 2018 1:12 am (IST)
Amiri gets a yellow card as he tries to tackle Carvajal. Iran is giving it their everything at the moment, but luck hasn't been on their side tonight. Just seven minutes left for the final whistle.
Jun 21, 2018 1:11 am (IST)
Vazquez earns a free kick inside the box, but Iran wall does well to block the shot. But Spain retains the possession. Can Iran find an equaliser in the dying minutes of the game?
Jun 21, 2018 1:06 am (IST)
CHANCE: Iran is certainly putting in a lot of effort in attack now. They come tantalisingly close to scoring after the ball is floated in Spanish box just ahead of the attackers.
CHANCE: It was a great corner by Spain and Iniesta is in action once more. The ball goes to Ramos and takes a shot at the goal. They come close to getting second goal of the night, but somehow Iran prevent it.
Jun 21, 2018 12:59 am (IST)
Even though the goal might have been denied to Iran, this chance has given them enough confidence to launch attacks against the Spanish defence. They would look to attack a little more in the game with 20 minutes to go in the game.
Jun 21, 2018 12:54 am (IST)
GOAL DENIED: It was a glorious moment for Iran as they had scored too. But then they were denied the goal after the VAR confirmed that it was an offside.
Jun 21, 2018 12:53 am (IST)
And Iran too is not bowing down without a chance here. Taremi flicks a header towards goal, but it goes wide to De Gea's left. Can Iran make a comeback here?
Jun 21, 2018 12:51 am (IST)
For the first time since 1954, there's not been a single 0-0 draw in the opening 20 matches.
The goal has come right after Iran were close to scoring a goal. But it looks like that Iran will go into a shell now after conceding the goal.
Jun 21, 2018 12:45 am (IST)
GOAL: Here comes the goal from Spain. Diego Costa strikes in the 54th minute here. He gets a good ball from Iniesta in the box and doesn't have any problem in netting the ball. Spain lead 1-0.
Jun 21, 2018 12:42 am (IST)
There is a flurry of attack from the Spanish side. This time it is Busquets who fires a shot from the left flank. But Iran keeper saves that one too. But Spain retain the possession. Spain have come out with renewed energy in this half. They look team on a mission.
Jun 21, 2018 12:41 am (IST)
CHANCE: It looks like Iran have come into the match just to defend. No matter what Spain comes up with, Iran defence has an answer to it. Isco gets a corner and is flicked by Pique. There is a lot of commotion in the box, but Spain doesn't find success here.
Jun 21, 2018 12:36 am (IST)
The second half is underway. Spain has a lot to improve upon here. And Spain start with another penetration in Iran's half, but the result was no different from the previous occasions. The ball is defended well by Iran.
Jun 21, 2018 12:27 am (IST)
In the first half, Diego Costa hasn't been in action. Now the onus will be on Hierro to change the tactics accordingly. As for Iran, they would love to continue the way they have played so far. A few more attacks could even see them mount enough pressure to score a goal, perhaps.
HALF-TIME: It has been a rather disappointing performance from Spain till now as they haven't been able to score a goal till now despite chances galore. And again David Silva comes in from the left flank takes a shot at the goal. But that has been defended well by Iran. Score remains 0-0 at half-time.
Jun 21, 2018 12:12 am (IST)
Iranian players are coming down like a pack of cards. First it's skipper Safi who requires medical attention, and then Diego Costa treads on Bieranvand's toe.
Jun 21, 2018 12:09 am (IST)
Iran comes up with a good chance from the right flank. But Sergio Ramos heads a cross from Rezaeian to ward off the danger. And the action moves back in the Iranian half again.
Jun 21, 2018 12:03 am (IST)
Another chance here for Spain as Iniesta floats the ball to Isco inside the box. Spain gets a corner. Silva takes a shot but the ball goes over cross bar. Great work by Spain here.
Jun 21, 2018 12:00 am (IST)
It's all too good for Iran at the moment who have done extremely well to prevent Spain from scoring. But having said that one goal from Spain will totally change the match for Iran. They haven't have much to show as far as attack is concerned, while Spain is making a lot of chances.
Jun 20, 2018 11:57 pm (IST)
Spain finally has a shot on target in the 24th minute. That speaks volumes about Iran's defence. David Silva takes a shot that is deflected by the wall, but keeper Beiranvand does well to grab it.
Jun 20, 2018 11:52 pm (IST)
Most of the action till now has unfolded in Iranian half. But their defence has been as good as ever. But that has meant that Spain has got their share of free kicks. After 20 minutes of the match too, the score remains at 0-0.
Jun 20, 2018 11:50 pm (IST)
CHANCE: This was a great chance for underdogs Iran to score, but there wasn't much support for the forward line. Despite a chance here and there, Spain hasn't given anything away. In fact Spain has kept Iranian defence busy by continuous penetrations.
Jun 20, 2018 11:46 pm (IST)
Busquets is brought down by Azmoun, earning a warning from the referee. David Silva takes the free kick and clips a cross to Ramos. He heads the ball to the goal, but the ball is well cleared by Iranian defenders.
Jun 20, 2018 11:41 pm (IST)
FREE KICK: Spain has a free kick here after Isco stumbles on the ground after a tackle. But the shot was well guarded by Sardar Azmoun.
Jun 20, 2018 11:38 pm (IST)
STAT ATTACK: Iran have just conceded 11 goals in the last 25 games, so they will again depend a lot on their defence. But what remains to be seen that whether they can withstand La Roja force.
Fernando Hierro, Spain's sporting director, is now at the helm but barely a week into the tournament La Roja -- expected to join Brazil, Germany and France in the latter stages -- have endured more drama than they would have wanted or expected. "It's a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny," said Isco. "We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won't be easy. "We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession. If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come. I hope we score quickly." Iran kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco, thanks to a late own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz, piling the pressure on Spain at Kazan Arena on Wednesday.
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 Coach Carlos Queiroz concedes Iran now face one of the biggest challenges in their World Cup history, but maintains they can "make the impossible possible".
"If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final," said the former Real Madrid coach. "It was not a miracle that we won. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things. "Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible." Yet keeping the Spanish armada at bay to claim the point that would boost hopes of qualifying for the last 16 looks a tall order. Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup -- their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998. Despite the frustration of conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Ronaldo following two goals from Diego Costa and a stunning strike from Nacho, Isco believes Spain's resolve remains intact. "We had a setback but we stuck together and got on with the job," he said. "We saw that in the first match. We never gave up, even after conceding a goal in the fourth minute. That shows what this team is all about. We'll never stop fighting.