Russian Federation beat Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarterfinals

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Hosts Russia shocked Spain to reach their first World Cup quarter final as an independent nation, beating the much-fancied 2010 champions 4-3 on penalties.

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

Sergei Ignashevich - 5 - Sergio Ramos got the better of the veteran defender with 12 minutes on the clock, as the 38-year-old wrestled the Real skipper to the ground before his back leg deflected the ball into his own net.

Mighty Spain dominated the field at Luzhniki Stadium, dulled the senses with mind-numbing ball movement around the perimeter of the penalty area Sunday.

From that corner, Russian Federation were literally handed a route back into the game as Artem Dzyuba's header struck the outstretched arm of Gerard Pique for an obvious penalty.

"It's the coach who makes the decisions", Iniesta said.

Even that was a Artem Dzyuba penalty, which was awarded for Gerard Pique's rather clear and obvious handball...

In fact, Spain needed a weird own goal by the otherwise excellent Sergei Ignashevich to open the scoring, while Russia's equaliser was another penalty, this time a 41st-minute effort by Artem Dzyuba.

It would be a stretch to say Russian Federation deserved their win, with 26 per cent possession and only six attempts at goal compared with Spain's 25, but they had a plan, stuck to it, and fought to the bitter end.

Hosts Russia advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties after a 1-1 draw on a dramatic afternoon in Moscow.

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Spain became the first team in recorded history to make more than 1,000 passes in a World Cup game, but a lot of them were sideways to a teammate who then kept circulating it around. 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.

It was a pity that the last match of Andres Iniesta, who later confirmed his global retirement, in the end became little more than a footnote.

"I had to persuade them this was the only way as they don't like this system", said Cherchesov, whose side had one shot on target in two hours of football.

"Let us say this openly, they are better than us in many ways, " he said.

It was the classic "tiki-taka" style that led to a World Cup title in 2010, bookended by a pair of European Championships.

"How do you think we are feeling? We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened, thank God", Akinfeev said.

Spain join Germany, Argentina and Portugal as the fancied teams eliminated. It is a reality that is my last match with the national team - at an individual level a wonderful stage is over.

Akinfeev saved two shots during the shootout, while all of his teammates scored to give Russian Federation a 4-3 advantage after a draw that was dominated by Spain in every way but the 1-1 score.

Spain starting XI: De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Koke, Busquets, Silva, Isco, Asensio, Costa.

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