Gerard Pique and Isco have won an award after Spain's win over Iran

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Spain are up and running in the World Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Iran.

Few will blame Fernando Hierro if La Roja have not been at their very best in the group stages, first drawing 3-3 with Portugal and then relying on a solitary goal from Diego Costa in their second outing.

The 2010 champions had almost 80% possession, yet their winner came in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, the Atletico Madrid striker's shot deflected in with 54 minutes on the clock.

Iran failed to register a single shot on target, so while the resilience of Carlos Queiroz's side was to be admired, they didn't deserve all that much.

It might not have been a classic, but it's a game that will live long in the memory for Gerard Pique and Isco, who have since been informed they'll be honoured with an award.

Play had to be stopped at one point when a baby bird was spotted on the pitch and it fell to the La Liga pair to pick it up and take it safely away.

As reported in the Daily Mail, animal charity PETA are sending two 'Hero to Animals' certificates to Spain's training camp in Russia in recognition of their actions.

It went down well in the Kazan Arena too, with those who were close enough to see what they were actually doing applauding the Barcelona defender and the Real Madrid playmaker.

'Compassionate football players' 

"PETA is recognising these compassionate football players for gently coaxing this little bird out of a dangerous situation and on his or her way to safety," said PETA Director Elisa Allen.

"No game is more important than someone's life, and we hope their heroic actions will encourage everyone always to come to the aid of animals in need."

Probably not the accolade they were striving for this summer, but a nice touch nonetheless.

As it stands, and with very few of the other favourites looking particularly impressive, Spain are still well-poised to make a big impact this summer in spite of the Julen Lopetegui saga.

Will Spain win the World Cup? Have your say in the comments. 

Diego Costa
Spain Football
Real Madrid
World Cup
Gerard Pique

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