SPAIN has defeated 1  - 0 IRAN in their Group B match tonight in Kazan (Russia). A very difficult encounter for the Spanish Team against a rocky, sticky & ultra defensive Iran that gave Spain troubles the whole match. Iran knew their game plan on how to neutralize the Spanish ball possession & their higher quality players: defend with all 11 men. A draw for Spain was useless & Iran had the upper hand with 3 points after defeating Morocco in their Group opener.

In fact, Spain will give thanks to the introduction of the "VAR Technology" which disallowed an offside goal in the second half to Iran which would have been a disaster for Spain if allowed. This event helps explain how difficult & awkward this match was for Spain as they walked on the "knife edge" on various occasions throughout the 2ยบ half.

World Cup 2018

Spain anticipated that Iran would defeat & attempt the counter-attack & thus started with Carvajal & Lucas Vazquez to try to open up Iran on their left flank. However, the Iranians were solid everywhere defensively allowing Spain the control of the ball and smashing continuously into their defensive wall ( or Trap ) to increase the frustration levels for the Spaniards. Added to all this Iran complemented their game with "time wasting" tactics from apparent non-fouls, shoe laces, ball going astray, goalkeeper taking his time etc etc, the whole array of time consuming ideas was witnessed.

Spain - Iran World Cup 2018

It took 55 mins to open the Iranian can & with luck for Spain to score a goal ( the winning goal) after the ball rebound of an Iranian defender onto the knee off DIEGO COSTA. Witnessing how the game was developing this is as valid as a clear open shot for Spain was clearly not seeing the light in the tunnel up until this "small miracle".

Spain - Iran World Cup 2018

Miraculously, Iran changed "game plan" for this point & for the first time went forward looking for the equalizer that would give them a secure opportunity of advancing in the World Cup, while almost certainly eliminating Spain. The Iranians nearly found their "goal" on various occasions putting the heart up the throats for most Spaniards watching TV back home.

In the 73rd min Iranian midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi put the ball into the Spanish net after a free-kick & multiple defensive fumbles. However Saeid was off-side & while Iran was celebrating the referee had consulted the "VAR" & disallowed the goal. Spain saved by the technology, those who did not like it will now have to love the technology.

Both Coaches made their changes with Spain securing further the midfield with Koke (Iniesta), giving legs with Asensio (off Vazquez) & winning time with Rodrigo (off Costa), while Iran looked for the equalizer putting on offensive players.

In the end, Spain managed to control the situation, the Iranian attacks & their nerves by controlling the ball which is precisely what they do best. The final whistle blew & all of Spain sighed relief as this was a "close one". Iran played well tonight they knew their limitations & put forward their strategy, a plan that nearly paid off for them. They too came close to their objective. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...