Hosts Russia defeat powerhouse Spain in World Cup shootout

Russia players issue '12th man' call to fans ahead of historic World Cup meeting with Spain

Cheryshev cherishes 2nd bite at cherry, Latest Football News

Akinfeev was the hero for Russian Federation, saving two spot kicks in the shootout, but he deserves acknowledgement as part of a wider defensive gameplan from the host nation.

"We felt tremendous support".

"Years ago I said he could end up being the world number one", said former German goalkeeper Oliver Khan on Akinfeev's abilities as a goalkeeper and captain.

The will host Croatia in Saturday's quarter-final in Sochi.

Russian Federation are now the lowest-ranked team remaining in the World Cup, while Spain are No. 10.

"We can't stop here, if we stop, nothing good will come of it", Akinfeev added. Spanish defensive errors, a possible symptom of switching coaches just two days before the World Cup, gave Russian Federation chances to attack.

But Russia drew level in the 41st minute, Artem Dzyuba smashing home a penalty after his header was blocked by Gerard Pique's arm in the box.

"We're insanely happy", Dzyuba said.

Russian Federation will now meet Croatia in the Quarter Final at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi on Saturday, July 7, 2018. The game went to a stalemate after the break with both teams playing their opposing styles, but being unable to score in the second half of normal time, or the extra time that followed. A penalty shoot-out is basically a lottery, and we weren't lucky.

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The second 45 minutes were uneventful with Spain continuing to pass and pass the ball without creating any serious threat, while Russian Federation soaked up the pressure.

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.

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.

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.

Despite 75 percent possession and more than 1,000 passes, Spain's famed tiki-taka got them nowhere and they had to wait until the 85th minute to test Akinfeev with a low drive from substitute Andres Iniesta.

The big moments came in the 12th minute and five minutes before halftime, but in between and before, there was absolutely nothing to write about.

The 120 minutes of football in this match will, in the future, be prescribed as the flawless medicine for insomniacs, with Spain having pretty much all of the ball, but with no end product. We tried to bet on them getting exhausted, had five or six clear opportunities to score, and conceded very few, apart from the penalty.

Missed penalties from Koke and Iago Aspas ensured Russian Federation progressed to the last eight for the first time in its history, sparking joyous celebrations at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Koke tried to give the lead back to Spain but his shot was stopped by Akinfeev.

Russia - Akinfeev 7, Fernandes 5, Kudryashov 7, Kutepov 7, Ignashevich 7, Zhirkov 5, Samedov 6, Kuzyaev 5, Golovin 6, Zobnin 5, Dzyuba 6.

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