Host Russia ousts Spain to continue World Cup party

5 ways Russia can beat Spain and reach the World Cup quarter-finals

The virtually unknown Igor Akinfeev became an overnight sensation after his heroics helped Russian Federation move past former champions Spain in a thrilling round of 16 encounter, taking them to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time since 1970.

Russia's captain and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved spot-kicks from Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion and Iago Aspas, and four of his teammates all scored.

Akinfeev says "I just feel emptied out".

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.

Forward Artem Dzyuba buried the 41st-minute penalty for his third goal of the tournament, sending Spain keeper David de Gea the wrong way to equalize and awaken the subdued crowd.

Russian Federation next play Croatia in the quarter-finals in Sochi on Sunday morning (Singapore time) and Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov believes his team have yet to peak. "One hero, for sure, is Akinfeev, who saved two of Spain's five penalties", states The New York Times.

"The Spanish squad is a very outstanding team, which play in a total control of the ball", Samedov said.

Croatia will next face host Russian Federation in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Sochi.

The Russia goalkeeper was again involved early in the second half, flying to his left to pluck a spinning Jordi Alba effort from the air.

In those 120 minutes of play, Akinfeev was everything expected of an all-star caliber goalkeeper, and in the following 10 minutes, he was everything and more.

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

Aspas almost picked out Carvajal with a cut-back, seconds into the start of extra time, which saw Aleksandr Erokhin come on as Russia's fourth sub - the first time the rule has been applied at the World Cup.

There were one or two moments, chief of them coming when substitute Rodrigo turned on the pace to force a save from Akinfeev, but that was pretty much it, with Russian Federation more than happy to take this to penalties - the crowd celebrated going into a penalty shootout like they had won the World Cup, which said everything really.

It was a painful World Cup exit for Spain and their 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.

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.

Will extra time, with Russian Federation tiring, at least produce some chances?

Russian penalty kickers were ideal against Spain's struggling goalkeeper David De Gea.

Buoyed by a partisan crowed, the home team gave it their all and there were exhausted Russian bodies aplenty after a stubborn defensive display took the tie to extra time and penalties.

Yuri Zhirkov brought down Nacho on Spain's right wing, and Asensio's free-kick sailed to the far post where it was deflected into the net by the veteran Ignashevich who had only paid attention to Spain captain Ramos.

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