An unlucky and spirited Iranian side lost to the European heavy weights Spain by a solitary goal yesterday night. Iran’s compact and robust defense nearly nullified all attacks of the Spanish side till one defensive lapse led to the ball ricocheting to the net off Diego’s Costa knee. Spain won by a solitary goal. Spain dominated possession from the word go and linked up going forward with much dexterity. Iran’s defense was equal to the task and defended well deep into their own box and constantly thwarted the Spanish attacks. Iran almost scored through Saied Ezatolahi only to be ruled offside by the linesman. It was a very tight call and the referee could have consulted the VAR. Iran attacked intermittently but luck was not on their side. Now let’s analyze the hits and misses from the Spain versus Iran match.
Isco (Spain)– Isco continued his great form. He always looked to move forward and tried to open up the Iranian defense with his guile and creativity. He dictated the midfield gameplay with ease and wasn’t afraid to make forward runs. His passing was immaculate with 92% accuracy. He made 9 successful dribbles and won 13 one-to-one duels with opponents. Rating-8.5/10
Sergio Busquets (Spain)- Busquets had a solid game in the midfield. His ball distribution was superb and kept possession of the ball. Not only defensively, he helped the front three of his team with some exquisite passing. His passing rate was as high as 94%. He made 3 dribbles,2 key passes and won almost 12 one-to-one duels in the match. Rating-8/10
Alireza Beiranvand (Iran)- The Iranian goal keeper’s valiant display had a real positive impact on the team. He punched a dangerous ball in the box early in the first half, and made a brilliant double save at the start of the second half to deny Busquets and kept the ball away from an onrushing Lucas Vazquez. This young goalkeeper is a great prospect for Iran. Rating-7/10
Sardar Azmoun (Iran)- A lot was expected of Azmoun in this crunch tie against Spain. He was busy defending in his own half rather making forward runs or attacks in the opponents half. His ball control and ball distribution was abysmal to say the least. Azmoun could not take advantage of his heading prowess from the flag kicks. His passing accuracy was as low as 35% and he was often dispossessed off the ball. Rating-3/10
Gerard Pique (Spain)- He looked extremely insecure in the back . Iran’s sporadic attacks too made him jittery in his own penalty box. He was easily nutmegged by Vahid Amiri which Taremi headed over the top of goal. Pique made no tackles and only a solitary interception in the entire match. Rating-4/10
Lucas Vazquez (Spain)- Lucas had a very quiet game by his standards. He could not make use of the wide areas and instead was sucked in the center of the midfield often. He was often dispossessed off the ball and his passing and crosses were found wanting. He was eventually replaced by Marco Asensio in the 80th minute of the match. His passing accuracy was a moderate 65%,made no key passes going forward and none of his 4 crosses were accurate. Rating-5/10