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Iran vs Spain live blog, full-time: Spain get narrow win against tough Iranian defense

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Piqué and Co. are back in action!

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Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

FULL-TIME, Iran 0-1 Spain: This game was as tough as advertised, and Spain get a crucial win. Sergio Busquets was masterful as always, Gerard Piqué was a lot more solid in defense in this one, and Jordi Alba had a 2017-18 Jordi Alba Game: bad.


GOAL! Iran 0-1 SPAIN (Diego Costa 54’): Spain find the breakthrough! Diego Costa gets very lucky as the ball ricochets off his leg after an attempted clearance and finds the back of the net. Costa won’t care about luck, though. And Spain should run away with this now.


HALF-TIME, Iran 0-0 Spain: Iran are defending for their lives, and Spain can’t score for their lives. This game is what we used to see when Barça had all of the possession against a parked bus. Problem for Spain is they don’t have Messi.


KICKOFF! Iran 0-0 Spain: Please be better than the Real Madrid players, lads! Let’s win this for Barça!


LINEUPS

IRAN

Starting XI: Beiranvand, Haji Safi, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Ramin, Ezatolahi, Omid, Amiri, Karim, Mehdi, Sardar.

Bench: Mazaheri, Abedzadeh, Dejagah, Ghoddos, Montazeri, Ghoochannejhad, Mohammadi, Jahanbakhsh, Khanzadeh, Shojaei, Torabi.

SPAIN

Starting XI: De Gea; Carvajal, Piqué, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Iniesta; Silva, Isco, Lucas Vazquez; Diego Costa.

Bench: Reina, Kepa, Azpilicueta, Asensio, Monreal, Thiago, Nacho, Saul, Koke, Aspas, Rodrigo, Odriozola.

It’s World Cup Day 7! The first week of the tournament has been fantastic, with great games, great goals, shocking results, and a VAR extravaganza. Now we enter the second round of group matches, with perhaps the biggest hope for Barcelona fans playing the last game of the day.

Spain played without a doubt the best football of the first round, dominating Portugal for 90 minutes and showing that the madness of the manager sacking didn’t really affect their ability to be a dominant team. The result is unfair for the quality La Roja showed on Friday, and today they’ll have a chance to further prove their strength and get their first win.

The opponent is Iran, who aren’t talented at all but have a fantastic defensive structure and will make things very tough for Spain. Don’t expect an easy night for Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta, but they will probably be just too good not to score and win with authority. Join us for another World Cup live blog as soon as the team news are out!


MATCH INFO

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 8pm CET (Barcelona), 7pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 2pm EST, 11am PST (USA), 11.30pm IST (India)

Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan

Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU)

HOW TO WATCH, STREAM WORLD CUP

How to watch on TV: FOX (USA), ITV 1 (UK), TSN (Canada), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Sony ESPN (India), others

How to stream: Telemundo Deportes (USA), ITV Hub (UK), TSN GO (Canada), FuboTV (Free trial, click here to sign up)


Matchday Thread Rules

We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:

Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, no swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do will be warned, and those who post links will be banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another, especially when it’s the World Cup.

Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!