Host Russia Shocks Spain In Shootout


Russian Federation put on a defensive masterclass in the round of 16 to beat Spain 4-3 on penalties in the first game of the 2018 World Cup to go beyond 90 minutes on Sunday (July 1).

Denmark took the lead in the first minute when defender Mathias Jorgensen scrambled in a shot that went in off Subasic's left hand and then the left post. Akinfeev delivered on both fronts with impressive dexterity, allowing his strikers to win the penalty shootout against Spain 4-3 on the back of his pair of massive saves. Asked why, he thought back to the 2008 European Championship, where Russian Federation lost to Spain 4-1 in its opener and 3-0 in the semifinals.

"Thank God, we were lucky, that's it", said the keeper, who like his counterpart at the other end, David de Gea, had had little to break sweat over for the preceding 120 minutes.

"They lost their coach - I'm not sure why they had to", said Cherchesov.

"I think Paris St Germain is very well represented (at the World Cup), but now we are talking about the Brazilian national team and I think our team is very balanced".

Russia, ranked No.57 in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association, qualified for the World Cup only because it is hosting the tournament.

Spain has now failed to win a knockout game at three major tournaments since it won Euro 2012, its third straight major title after Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Ended in Moscow the meeting of the 1/8 finals of the 2018 world Cup, where Spain were knocked out of the tournament, Russia.

They will now have growing confidence of progressing further in an open half of the draw in which one of Russia, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, England and Colombia are guaranteed to make the final.

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Russian Federation will now meet Croatia in the Quarter Final at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi on Saturday, July 7, 2018. When Rodrigo charged down the right flank, he forced a good save from Igor Akinfeev, before Dani Carvajal mishit the rebound.

It was a painful World Cup exit for Spain and its coach Fernando Hierro, who took over at the last minute to replace Julen Lopetegui, fired on the eve of the tournament after accepting Real Madrid's offer to be their manager.

Spain hit more passes than any other team in the group stages and continued in such fashion.

Akinfeev used his trailing left foot to kick the ball high away from the goal on Spain's last attempt by Aspas.

"For us tomorrow has to be a party, especially for the fans at large", he said.

Spain is starting without Andres Iniesta against Russian Federation in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Russian Federation levelled from a 41st-minute penalty by Artem Dzyuba after Pique handled the ball. Koke tried to give the lead back to Spain but his shot was stopped by Akinfeev.

Spain played keep-ball in low gear as white shirts chased without reward but Golovin curled just wide (37) as a long Dzyuba ball snapped the monotony and then came the provider's big moment. Russia, by comparison, scored all four of their efforts.