Spain knocked out after stunning Russian upset

Stanislav Cherchesov | Russia

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Russia's Artyom Dzyuba, right, runs to celebrate scores his side's first goal from a penalty kick past Spain goalkeeper David De Gea, 2nd left, during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018. The 32-year-old captain pulled off two important saves during the penalty shoot-out - which they won 4-3 - to take his team to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time since 1970.

Penalties it was. After the first four were all scored, Akinfeev saved Koke's spot kick to give Russian Federation the advantage.

In the shootouts, it was Akinfeev who emerged as the hero, first diving right to keep Koke's effort out, before denying Aspas with his feet, as the World Cup witnessed yet another fairytale and Russian Federation 2018 lost one more of the so-called pure-bred teams.

Akinfeev came to the rescue again to deny Rodrigo after his fine sprint in the second half of extra time before becoming a national hero by saving the two spot kicks to send the hosts past the former world champions.

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Russian Federation equalized before halftime when Spanish defender Gerard Pique gave away a penalty via a handball in the box. The last 10 minutes of the match I lost 10 years of my life but in the end, we are through to the quarterfinal".

An early Sergei Ignashevich own goal had Spain on track to reach the quarter-finals, but Artem Dzyuba levelled from the penalty spot. "Sometimes the endings are not how you dreamed them".

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 scored remained tied at 1-1 until the 90 minute mark and extra time, meaning for the very first time in the tournament, the game would be decided by penalty kicks.

"We can't start finger-pointing at anyone and laying any blame here", he said.

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Fox said it was the third-biggest World Cup upset based on its rankings and the biggest in the knockout round. Referees and video officials have consistently penalised handballs in the box at this World Cup.

Isco produced a series of regal touches with Spain's King Felipe VI among those in the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Russian Federation equalised shortly before half-time.

Koke's penalty was saved by Akinfeev and up stepped Golovin to smash home his kick and give the hosts the advantage.

Spain's Iago Aspas shot down the middle, and Akinfeev had jumped to his right. We don't like this type of structure with three central defenders but they trusted me and I spoke with every player individually.

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Spain were not at their fluent best during the group stage as they overcame the departure of manager Julen Lopetegui two days before the tournament.

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