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Why did Queiroz walk out on Iran?

Iran
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Persepolis' top five moments

Iran
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 By Nick Ames

Diego Costa's fluke goal edges Spain past Iran, closer to knockout rounds

Diego Costa scored on a deflection to lift Spain past Iran, despite the best efforts of Carlos Queiroz's side to find an equaliser.
Spain managed to walk away with three points against Iran, but the FC crew explain how Iran managed to disrupt La Roja.

KAZAN, Russia -- Three quick thoughts from Spain's 1-0 World Cup group-stage win over Iran at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday:

1. Costa's fluke edges Spain closer to last 16

It has been a World Cup of strange bobbles, ricochets and bounces, and this time it was Spain's turn to profit. Diego Costa knew little about the early second-half goal that broke Iran's resistance, which had threatened to turn a frustrating night into a hugely damaging one. But they all count and, while Iran could point...

 By John Duerden

Iran have nothing to fear vs. Spain, Portugal - they have Carlos Queiroz

With just one World Cup group stage win to their name, Iran will have their work cut out for them in a challenging Group B.
ESPN FC's Stewart Robson wasn't overly impressed with Iran and doesn't feel there's a way back for Morocco after their late capitulation.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia -- Carlos Queiroz has guided three national teams to four World Cups but the game against Spain on Wednesday could prove to be his finest hour and a half, not just on the global stage but in a long and distinguished coaching career. If all goes well in Kazan vs. Spain, and then against Portugal in Saransk, the 65-year-old will have secured his reputation as one of the world's top coaches.

He was already up there in the eyes of his Iran players after they threw him into the...

 By Nick Ames

Spain in danger as Iran smell blood - one World Cup slip can prove costly

The guys respond to your tweets about Cristiano Ronaldo following his heroic display for Portugal against Spain in the World Cup.

When Cristiano Ronaldo whipped that vicious, nigh-on unstoppable free kick beyond David De Gea on Friday night, Spain howled and neutrals around the world rejoiced.

The game had finished in a draw but football had been the winner: Spain, for their part, had shown glimpses of their fluent, high-octane best and if that was an appetiser for match-ups between this World Cup's big guns then the knockout stages, when they begin in a week and a half, will be something to behold.

Yet it is not that simple...

 By John Duerden

Iran need quality from Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun but progress unlikely

In their four World Cup appearances, Iran have never made it out of the group stages. Will they finally find form in Russia?
Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list.
The ESPN FC panel break down Group B where they feel Portugal and Spain are favourites over Morocco and Iran.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away, and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Ashkan Dejagah
Manager: Carlos Queiroz
Nickname: Team Melli
FIFA rank (as of April 12, 2018): 36

How they qualified

The road to Russia could not have been smoother and straighter for Iran, who became the second team (after Brazil) to secure a spot....



 By John Duerden

Saudi Arabia impress, South Korea need tougher tests, Japan struggling in defence

Juan Antonio Pizzi will be the new man on the sideline as Saudi Arabia look to spring a surprise in Group A.
In their four World Cup appearances, Iran have never made it out of the group stages. Will they finally find form in Russia?

Four of Asia's five representatives started the final phase of preparations for the 2018 World Cup this week with friendlies against a variety of opponents.

ESPNFC looks at the big lessons that emerged from the respective games.

Saudi Arabia may not need a striker

On the face of it, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament (67) have a mountain to climb at their first World Cup since 2006 and Group A games against hosts Russia, Uruguay and Egypt.

Saudi Arabia can however take plenty of positives...

 By John Duerden

World Cup bolters: Daniel Arzani, Lee Seung-woo, Steven Beitashour earn surprise call-ups

The ESPN panel in London are skeptical of Australia ahead of the World Cup with Bert van Marwijk's defensive mindset and an aging squad.
Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list.

Three of Asia's five 2018 World Cup representatives chose to name preliminary squads on or before the May 14 deadline.

All three nations were forced to make tough decisions, with newly appointed coaches Bert van Marwijk and Shin Tae-yong particularly determined to make their mark on their respective squads.

Here are the three surprise inclusions in each of the early lists:

Australia: Daniel Arzani

Van Marwijk went down the unusual route of naming two preliminary squads. A week after Australia's...