Iran 0-1 Spain: Player Ratings as Iranian Hearts Are Broken After Diego Costa Spares Spain’s Blushes

Iran fought hard but were unable to hold out Spain for the whole 90 minutes as they were eventually defeated 1-0 by La Furia Roja in Rostov.

Spain dominated the match in terms of possession but it took a fluke goal to break the deadlock midway through the second half, as a clearance cannoned off of Diego Costa’s knee. The result means that Spain are now in a prime position to qualify for the last 16, but aren’t mathematically there just yet.

Here’s a look at how the players fared: 

1. Iran: Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alireza Beiranvand 7/10 – Very solid performance, dealing well with crosses into the box and also made a flying save to deny Busquets in the second half. Stood no chance with the goal.

Ehsan Hajisafi 6/10 – Took a knock in the first half and fought on bravely to play admirably at left back.

Morteza Pouraliganji 7/10 – Threw his body on the line so many times and won virtually every header Spain lumped up towards him. Unlucky to be on the losing side.

Majid Hosseini 6/10 – Not quite as heroic as his colleague by his side but not much found its way past him.

Ramin Rezaeian 6/10 – Incredibly unlucky with the goal as his clearance cannoned off of Diego Costa’s knee. Otherwise very steady.

2. Iran: Midfielders

Saeid Ezatolahi 7/10 – Screened his defence superbly and even had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be disallowed after a VAR referral. 

Omid Ebrahimi 6/10 – Formed a strong partnership with Ezatolahi and often broke up play when Spain looked threatening.

Karim Ansarifard 6/10 – Popped up a few times in the first half and looked threatening but his influence diminished as the game went on.

Medhi Taremi 6/10 – Worked hard for his side and was inches away from connecting with a cross that would have levelled the match. Should have done better with a header with ten minutes to go.

Vahid Amiri 6/10 – Iran’s best attacking threat but on the few occasions he broke beyond the Spanish defence, he lacked the necessary quality.

3. Iran: Forward

Sardar Azmoun 5/10 – Barely played as a striker all evening and was instead acting as another midfielder for most of the 90 minutes. Did do well to win a few long balls but he was starved of service when Iran broke into the opposing half.

4. Iran: Substitutes

Milad Mohammadi 6/10 – Slotted well into right-back and kept Spain quiet on the right hand side.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh 5/10 – Couldn’t stamp any authority on the match after coming on and misplaced a few passes in promising positions late on.

5. Spain: Goalkeeper and Defenders

David De Gea 6/10 – Virtually untested all match. Made a very important punch right at the death to relieve some pressure.

Jordi Alba 6/10 – Steady performance at left back and was rarely tested defensively.

Sergio Ramos 7/10 – A captain’s performance from the centre back, dealt comfortably with anything Iran had to throw at him and virtually played as a defensive midfielder for most of the match.

Gerrard Pique 6/10 – Nothing got past him all evening and he dealt well with Azmoun.

Dani Carvajal 6/10 – Justified his inclusion back in the squad over Nacho. Always offered an outlet in the right flank for Spain.

6. Spain: Midfielders

 Sergio Busquets 6/10 – A very typical performance in the heart of midfield. Barely put a foot wrong but didn’t do anything spectacular either.

Andres Iniesta 6/10 – A few passes didn’t quite come off for him, but that was testament to the Iranian defence. Played the pass into Costa for the goal.

David Silva 6/10 – Tended to drift in and out of the match but created a few very promising situations in the first half.

Isco 7/10 – Spain’s most threatening player all evening and anything good tended to come through the Real Madrid man when he dropped deep to receive the ball off of the centre-backs.

Lucas Vazquez 5/10 – Not a brilliant match for the winger and he was often wasteful in possession when he found himself in promising situations.

7. Spain: Forward

Diego Costa 7/10  – His goal was one of the most fortunate he will ever score but it wasn’t a vintage performance from the Atletico Madrid striker. He forged his own luck however and he should be praised for sticking at it to score the goal.

8. Spain: Substitutes

Koke 6/10 – Quietly went about his business in the centre of midfield after coming on.

Marco Asensio 5/10 – Didn’t have long to make an impact but he barely featured in the fifteen minuted he was on the pitch.

Rodrigo N/A – Came on with two minutes to go.

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