Russian Federation through to quarter-finals after beating Spain on penalties

02 July, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Kenneth Collins
  • BP_World

Russian Federation beat Spain in their World Cup round of 16 match.

The hosts themselves have been enjoying a sensational run in the 2018 World Cup, ensuring progression into the knockout rounds for the first time since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

They held firm as extra time reached the halfway point and then summoned a Herculean final effort in the final 15 minutes as Spain finally seemed to realise their looming predicament.

Isco nearly freed Jordi Alba down the right only to overhit the pass, before Mario Fernandes and Aleksandr Samedov embarked on a promising combination before the move fizzled out.

That proved the cue for a good spell of possession as the first half entered its final five minutes, which brought another corner when a cross cannoned off Koke and behind.

Apart from the own-goal on the night, the attempted clearance deflecting off Costa into Iran's goal was vital to their progression to the Round of Sixteen and they got out of jail in their final group stage encounter against Morocco.

Dzyuba's penalty kick fooled goalkeeper David De Gea to dive the wrong way. It was the first match of the tournament to go to penalty kicks.

Andres Iniesta came on for Silva and Nacho was replaced by Dani Carvajal in another Spain switch with 20 minutes remaining.

Spain, meanwhile, passed and passed and passed.

Mexico and South Korea
Sweden , powered by their own terrific performance, and Mexico , powered by South Korea , were through. It is the first time Germany failed to reach the knockout stage of a World Cup since 1938.

With five minutes to go they were agonisingly close to a victor as Iniesta latched on to a clever touch from Aspas and his low strike from the edge of the area hit the post. Instead, this side of the bracket is now wide open.

It gave Russian Federation its greatest win in worldwide soccer for 10 years, since Akinfeev was in goal for an extra-time victory over the Netherlands in a European Championship quarterfinal.

He will forever be remembered for the most important goal in Spain's history to win the World Cup eight years ago, but Andres Iniesta's worldwide career ended in sad fashion among delirium for the hosts in Moscow.

Cherchesov tried to freshen things up by bringing on Denis Cheryshev and swapping the tiring Dzyuba for Fedor Smolov, while Spain coach Fernando Hierro called for Anders Iniesta and Aspas.

It was all pass.pass.pass with no real objective, especially after they got the first goal through Ignashevich's own goal in the 12th minute.

As it turned out, Russian Federation held firm for 90 minutes, came up with an equalizer after conceding an early own-goal and forced extra-time, thanks to some body-on-the-line and mind-over-matter defending.

One fan felt Russia's number one deserved more than just the man of the match award, posting a mocked up photograph on social media of Akinfeev as a haloed Russian Orthodox saint.

Spain have been getting the rub of the green in a number of important encounters.

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