Spain player ratings vs. Russia: Bad day for David Silva

Cheryshev bagged this belter against Saudi Arabia

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said Russia's game plan had been to hold on for a penalty shootout after the host nation beat Spain on spot-kicks Sunday to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Isco stayed busy with the contest intriguingly poised but opted to dribble in the box when a shot was on and Spain, needing inspiration where it mattered, finally called for Andres Iniesta midway through the second half.

Two saves from Igor Akinfeev in the penalty shoot-out gave the hosts the 4-3 win.

Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved the decisive spot-kick from Iago Aspas after Koke also missed by blasting Spain's third attempt wide.

"Thank God, we were lucky, that's it", said the keeper, who like his counterpart at the other end, David de Gea, had had little to break sweat over for the preceding 120 minutes.

"Yesterday, when the (France and Uruguay) games were over, I thought the same thing, that Neymar will have his way in our match", said Silva at Brazil's pre-match press conference.

Spain sensationally failed to beat Russian Federation in the 1/8 finals of the 2018 world Cup.




Spain won a first World Cup in 2010, before then they had never got beyond the quarter-finals.

Long before the fevered finale, Russian Federation had plumped for containment but they broke quickly when the chance came, Golovin with a promising early dart down the right that raised the volume. Russia, in turn, the next stage will play the victor of Croatia - Denmark.

Russian Federation will now meet Croatia in the Quarter Final at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi on Saturday, July 7, 2018.

"We're hosting a fantastic tournament", Akinfeev said. Spain's then-coach, Julen Lopetegui, was sacked two days before this year's World Cup after agreeing to take the Real Madrid job, and Fernando Hierro stepped in to take charge.

He argued that Spain had enjoyed more ball possession and pointed out the difficulties of breaking down a team laid out in a defensive 5-4-1 system in which all 11 men were regularly kept behind the ball. The defeat also marked the end a of glittering global career for Andres Iniesta, who was brought on midway through the second half for his 131st and final Spain appearance. For Spain, it was another heartbreak at the World Cup. Denis Cheryshev, Aleksandr Golovin, Sergei Ignashevich and Fedor Smolov converted each of Russia's four efforts from the spot. Russia's Alexander Yerokhin went on in the 97th minute against Spain, replacing fellow midfielder Daler Kuzyaev. The 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder came off the bench and nearly won the game with an 85th-minute shot well saved by Akinfeev.

Forward Artem Dzyuba buried it for his third goal of the tournament to awaken the subdued crowd.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov could smell a major upset, introducing Villarreal midfielder Denis Cheryshev, who hit three goals in the group stage, while Spain sent for Andres Iniesta, who had started 21 consecutive matches at worldwide tournaments.

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