Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

Isco hopes Spain 'score quickly' ahead of World Cup date with destiny against Iran

Spain, held to a 3-3 draw by Portugal in Group B opener, face top-of-the-table Iran at Kazan Arena on Wednesday

Spain playmkaer Isco takes part during a training session ahead of the World Cup Group B match against Iran on Wednesfay. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo
Spain playmkaer Isco takes part during a training session ahead of the World Cup Group B match against Iran on Wednesfay. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo

Spain playmaker Isco says Wednesday's match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russia following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

Champions in 2010 and among the favourites this year, Spain's World Cup ambitions were kept in check, almost single-handedly, by a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

The draw came just two days after Spain's campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of manager Julen Lopetegui following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-time European champions after the tournament.

Fernando Hierro, Spain's sporting director, is now at the helm but barely a week into the tournament Spain have endured more drama than they would have wanted or expected.

"It's a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny," Isco said. "We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won't be easy.

"We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession. If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come. I hope we score quickly."

Iran kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco, thanks to a late own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz, piling the pressure on Spain at Kazan Arena on Wednesday.

Iran sit top of the pile as the only Group B team with a win so far, an achievement that sparked incredible celebrations in the streets of Tehran.

Manager Carlos Queiroz concedes Iran now face one of the biggest challenges in their World Cup history, but maintains they can "make the impossible possible".


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"If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final," said the former Real Madrid manager.

"It was not a miracle that we won. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things.

"Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible."

Yet keeping the Spanish armada at bay to claim the point that would boost hopes of qualifying for the last 16 looks a tall order.

Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup - their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998.

Updated: June 19, 2018 01:06 PM



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