Hierro lauds Spain's 'committed' match-winner Diego Costa

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The Atletico Madrid star scored the only goal as La Roja beat Iran, but it was his overall performance as opposed to his goal which pleased his coach.

Fernando Hierro reserved special praise for the commitment shown by Spain's match-winner Diego Costa in their narrow 1-0 triumph over Iran in Kazan on Wednesday.

Costa got the only goal of the game in the second half as he charged down a clearance, the ball finding the net via his shin thanks to a stroke of fortune.

It was his third goal of the World Cup having previously scored a brace against Portugal on Friday, while he worked tirelessly in attack, making himself a nuisance to the Iran defence.

And Hierro saluted the Atletico Madrid star's display, as Spain battled their way to the slenderest of victories.

"Diego is really committed, with three [goals] in two matches," Hierro told reporters at the Kazan Arena.

"But he can do better. He works hard, fights both at the back and front. We ask him to give everything and he is surrounded by people who want him to do everything.

"I'm really happy with him, the way he commits, the way he fights. When I talk about my team I talk about the 23.

"Tomorrow we get up early, we train and it's a pleasure to get up in the morning and see they are so committed.

"They are here to keep winning and keep fighting. Everybody needs to be ready to jump on the pitch and that's our commitment, but of course if you have players like mine who are committed, things look brighter."

Spain's performance was by no means vintage on Wednesday, as they often struggled to break down their resolute opponents and only won thanks to an extremely fortunate goal.

And Hierro - in charge after Julen Lopetegui's shock sacking - accepted he actually felt happier after the draw with Portugal than after seeing his side beat Iran.

"Impressions are something personal, and when I say personal I mean the whole team," Hierro said.

"We got three points, four on the whole, and maybe we were happier against Portugal than today.

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"It's just a feeling. You get a flash interview and people say things aren't working, but we have four points.

"Of course we want to be even better, we're demanding, but every team will suffer. Anyone who wants to win a World Cup will suffer.

"It's true, maybe we were happier after Portugal, but we got three points today."

Spain close out group play against a Morocco side still looking for their first point of the tournament. 

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