Day seven of the World Cup saw Group B take centre stage whilst Uruguay could sort out Group A with a win over Saudi Arabia.
Spain and Portugal off mark
Spain and Portugal finally got their World Cup properly underway with 1-0 wins, having drawn their meeting 3-3 on Friday.
Spain’s game had plenty of drama, notably in an open second half compared to a dominant first half by La Roja.
Just minutes after restart, a Isco cross from the left was cleared out to Sergio Busquets who found Alireza Beiranvand before David Silva then collided with the Iranian goalkeeper to head the ball wide.
Four minutes, later, Iran attacked via a throw into box which rebounded to Karim Ansarifard, who curled his effort just wide into the left side netting.
That miss was punished just a minute later when Andreas Iniesta passed to Diego Costa and the Atletico Madrid star turned to slot it home past Beiranvand.
Iran then had a controversial 61st minute equaliser ruled offside after a Ramin Rezaeian free-kick from right found Saeid Ezatolahi who stabbed home admist a in box scramble, only for it to be cruelly ruled offside.
With nearly 70 minutes played, Spain had a corner and played a short pass which triggered a goalmouth scramble before Gerard Pique’s effort was cleared just on the line.
That wasn’t the end of the drama when Iran attacked again in 82nd minute with Vahid Amiri beating Pique down Spain’s right before crossing to Mehdi Yaremi who headed wide.
In end, Spain held out to go top from Portugal on fair play after picking up less bookings.
Portugal played Morocco in the day’s opening game and won a rather dull match in fourth minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored from centre of box to become Europe’s top international goal scorer.
For full details, click here for our match report.
Uruguay win to settle Group A
Uruguay took a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia to secure their and Russia’s last 16 spots.
Luis Suarez won the game for Uruguay after turning the ball home at the back post from a 23rd minute corner.
Uruguay’s went close in 62nd minute when Carlos Sanchez headed wide a cross from Edinson Cavani, who had got down Saudi Arabia’s left before pausing for Sanchez to get into box and crossing to the Monterrey man.
Ultimately, Suarez’s first half goal was enough for Uruguay to book their place in the knockout stages alongside Russia.
Next up for Uruguay is a top of table clash with Russia whilst Egypt battle Saudi Arabia to avoid finishing bottom of Group A.