Russian Federation beat Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

Dominic Ebenbichler  Reuters

Dominic Ebenbichler Reuters

Koke and Iago Aspas were denied by the Russian Federation goalkeeper as 2010 champions Spain, who dominated possession without creating clear chances, were defeated 4-3 on penalties.

"We felt tremendous support".

That was the boost that Russian Federation needed going into half-time, but they almost threw the advantage away when Diego Costa, invisible up to that point, was given a couple of chances just before the half-time whistle, with Akinfeev, thankfully for the hosts, up to his task. Russia, in turn, the next stage will play the victor of Croatia - Denmark.

"At that time, Spanish teams were favourites, but as we say in Russian Federation, anyone can be god if he tries to", he said.

In contrast, Russian Federation has completed the same number of passes - 1,029 - in four matches at the World Cup.

Spain joined Argentina, Portugal and Germany among the big guns to have been eliminated from this World Cup, but Iniesta said he believed the future for the Spain team was bright.

There hasn't been a World Cup penalty shootout between two European teams since Italy beat France in the 2006 final.

And if the Russian defender hadn't had the ball carom off his calf and into the net, he probably would have been whistled for a penalty.Russia next plays Croatia or Denmark who play later Sunday. The second half of new victories have not brought, as designated an additional 30 minutes. "We had opportunities to win this match but we ended up in a penalty shootout which is basically a lottery, and we weren't lucky", he added.

The 48 already played matches out of all scheduled 64 games at this World Cup saw 122 scored goals (2.54 per match on the average), with the national team of Belgium scoring the most in its three group stage matches (nine goals).

Spain took a 12th-minute lead off a free-kick from an own-goal by Ignashevich, who two weeks before his 39th birthday became the oldest player to suffer such a mishap in a World Cup match.

The king is a soccer fan who, as crown prince, attended the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to see Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0. Home supporters with red-white-and-blue wigs and painted faces seemed prepared for an unhappy ending out of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, especially after Marco Asensio's free kick ricocheted off a calf of defender Sergei Ignashevich in the 12th minute and past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev for an own goal.

Spain dominated the first 30 minutes, pressing Russian Federation heavily as the hosts struggled to advance beyond the halfway line in humid conditions.

"It's painful, there's nothing else we can say", Spain captain Sergio Ramos said.

And Russia were then gifted a penalty when Pique handled in the box.

The result is Russia's first win at the knockout stages of a major tournament since Euro 2008, and it leaves the bottom half of the draw wide open for a surrpise finalist. And frankly, had the ball not gone in, Spain might have been given a penalty for what looked like a foul.

Dzyuba calmly sent De Gea the wrong with his penalty to join Cheryshev on a team-leading three goals.

Russia's ultra-defensive approach worked against a risk-averse Spain team that completed more than 1,000 passes, but nearly none into the penalty area.

Russia's Alexander Yerokhin went on in the 97th minute against Spain, replacing fellow midfielder Daler Kuzyaev.

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