Russia Pulls Off Huge Upset, Knocks Out Spain In 2018 World Cup

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Spain look dejected during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 1, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

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.

"I don't believe I am the man of the match - that was the whole team and the fans", said captain Akinfeev afterwards.

Spain were dominating possession but complacency edged into their game and the next big chance fell to Russian Federation in the 36th minute, Golovin bending a shot wide after Dzyuba held off Ramos to win a header.

After Artem Dzyuba's penalty had cancelled out the own goal from Sergei Ignashevich that opened the scoring, Russian Federation spent most of the game on the defensive, maintaining a rigid structure that Spain's tiki-taka was powerless to penetrate.

The Zenit Saint Petersburg striker's header was subsequently blocked by Gerard Pique's arm after the Barcelona defender bizarrely jumped with his limbs raised.

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

"We were hoping for penalties", Akinfeev said after the match ended 1-1 after extra time, following a Sergei Ignashevich own goal and an assured Artem Dzyuba penalty. "Great news for us".

And it was Iniesta who nearly came up with the victor in the 85th minute, Akinfeev getting down low to his right to save, the goalkeeper then denying Iago Aspas on the rebound. After being held to a draw in a six-goal thriller in their opening match, Spain managed to beat Iran 1-0 before finishing their round-robin campaign with a disappointing draw against Morocco.

Spain substitute Andres Iniesta stepped up first and scored, to which Fyodor Smolov replied.

The hosts, ridiculed and written off even before a ball had been kicked this month, are World Cup quarter-finalists, standing firm against 2010 world champions Spain to prevail on penalties.

"Everything is changing, " Spain coach Fernando Hierro said through a translator.

At the height of the Cold War, Spain beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in the 1964 European Championship final, a game which took on extra symbolism as a battle between the Soviets and Spain's staunchly anti-communist dictatorship under Francisco Franco.

The veteran Iniesta nearly scored in the 85th when he found himself unmarked on the edge of his area, but Akinfeev palmed away his low shot, and the keeper was then also on his guard against Aspas in extra-time which set up the shoot-out where the home side kept their nerve to seal the win.

The king heads FIFA's list of VIP guests for the round of 16 game, which also includes Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

For the first time in a World Cup, teams will be allowed to make a fourth substitution in extra time.

In the second straight shootout of the tournament, the Croats advanced to the quarterfinals on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Denmark on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Brazil forward Neymar came into the tournament lacking fitness following a foot injury and scored once during three group games.

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