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 on Sunday (Jul 1) to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. Sergio Ramos and Denis Cheryshev then converted, before Akinfeev's stop to deny Iago Aspas sent Russian Federation through and Spain home. If there is someone to blame, it's me, not the players.
Spain, which was a favorite to win the tournament, came out strong with a goal off Russia's Sergei Ignashevish's foot, but then evened the match with a goal of his own.
The 34-year-old was a vital cog in the Spanish machine as they dominated world football across a period of six years, winning two European Championships and securing a World Cup triumph in 2010.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russian Federation.
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Russian Federation equalized before halftime when Spanish defender Gerard Pique gave away a penalty via a handball in the box.
Rubiales, who made the decision to remove Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup, stood by his move.
Putin did not attend the match in Moscow and it is not known if he will attend Russia's quarter-final.
Spanish midfielder Andreas Iniesta thanks the crowd after the game.
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"Like all Spaniards, we had high hopes and dreams and we are sad that we couldn't do it for the millions of people who were following the game back home", Hierro told reporters. "On a personal level, it's the end of a wonderful phase".
The result saw Moscow go into meltdown with tens of thousands of fans in the capital's Federation Internationale de Football Association fan fest crowding around several huge screens as they witnessed what many had believed was unthinkable before the match. "We left our pride and soul out there".
"Incredible. The last 10 minutes of the match I lost 10 years of my life but in the end, we are through to the quarterfinal". I've already said it a lot of times.
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