Iran's rigid defending keeps Spain at bay at halftime

Spain was clearly the dominant side and the bulk of the action was centred in Iran's half. Iran's packed defence and a deep backline were instrumental in keeping the La Roja at bay. 

David Silva of Spain attempts to shoot past Sardar Azmoun of Iran during their World Cup league match.   -  Getty Images

After a stalemate against Portugal in its opening match, Spain came all guns blazing against Iran but lacked teeth in the final third in the first 45 minutes as the teams were deadlocked in their Group B league match at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday.  

Spain was clearly the dominant side and the bulk of the action was centred in Iran's half. Iran's packed defence and a deep backline were instrumental in keeping the La Roja at bay. 

It was David Silva who had his chances but lack of precision and timing dented any chances of Spain's quest for an opening goal.  It was in the 25th minute when got his first chance on goal but his right-footer straight went straight to Iran's keeper Ali Beiranvand.

Silva's acrobatic effort, minutes later, went above the crossbar much to the agony of the players and the bench. 

Silva was close to scoring in the added time but  Iran's Morteza Pouraliganji makes an excellent diving tackle to block Silva's shot and his defence summed up Iran's resolute first half defending.

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