Diego Costa scores again, Spain beats Iran 1-0 at World Cup

KAZAN, Russia (AP) — Diego Costa scored on a deflection to lead Spain to a 1-0 win over Iran on Wednesday at the World Cup.

Costa broke the deadlock in the 54th minute after being set up by Andres Iniesta. The powerful striker turned in the area and took a shot but the ball deflected off Ramin Rezeian before bouncing back onto Costa’s knee and into the net.

Costa, who also scored two goals in the opening match, has three goals at this year’s World Cup, trailing Cristiano Ronaldo by one. He also has nine goals in his last nine starts for Spain.

Both Spain and Portugal have 4 points in Group B following their 3-3 draw and subsequent 1-0 victories. Iran has 3 points in the group but Morocco has been eliminated.

Trailing in the second half, Iran nearly equalized when Saeid Ezatolahi had a goal that was ruled out on video review.

Iran continued to push hard and managed to challenge with some fast counterattacks.

Spain was lucky not to concede toward the end as Mehdi Taremi connected with a cross from Karim Ansarifard but his header from close range went over the crossbar.