Patience is a virtue, and Spain showed plenty of it to overcome a tough challenge from Iran at the World Cup.

During a frustrating evening at the Kazan Arena when the 2010 champions struggled to break through the stubborn Iranian defense, Diego Costa scored on a deflection for a 1-0 win.

Costa scored in the 54th minute after being set up by Andres Iniesta. The powerful striker turned in the area and took a shot that deflected off Ramin Rezeian before bouncing back onto Costa's knee and into the net.

It was far from a beautiful win, but the goal was enough to make Spain coach Fernando Hierro smile.

"We have four points," Hierro said. "We were happier after the match against Portugal, but we only had one point."

Spain and Portugal lead Group B with four points each following their 3-3 draw and 1-0 victories. Iran has three points, but Morocco has been eliminated.

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