Host Russia’s win over Spain in the Round of 16 match of 2018 FIFA World Cup will go down as one of the biggest upsets in tournament’s history. The home side defeated favourites Spain 4-3 on penalties to qualify for the quarterfinal after the two sides were tied at one each at the end of 90 minutes and extra time of 30 minutes. The match then headed into the penalty shootout and it was Russian goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev who emerged as the hero. Akinfeev saved a crucial kick from Iago Aspas and thus Russia advanced to the quarterfinal of the football World Cup.
Akinfeev while diving made sure he kicked the ball with his boot to deny Aspas and Spain a chance to stay alive in the contest. At that point in time, Russia were leading 4-3 as Akinfeev dashed Spain’s hopes of qualifying for the next round with his superb save. Aspas was the last to take the penalty for Spain. Spain vs Russia Highlights Round of 16, 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The penalty shootout drama bang with Andres Iniesta helping Spain go one up. Fyodor Smolov then followed the suit as Russia levelled. Gerard Pique took the second penalty for Spain and handed them 2-1 lead. Though, 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich made it 2-2 for the home side. Akinfeevthen saved a penalty from Koke and that handed Russia an advantage. Aleksandr Golovin and Sergio Ramos then slotted the penalties successfully for their respective sides. Denis Cheryshev gave Russia the decisive lead before Aspas penalty was defended by the Russian skipper.
Watch Video of Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev Saving Iago Aspas' Kick:
— Dean Raymond (@deanoooh) July 1, 2018
Meanwhile, this is Russia’s only second entry into the World Cup quarter-finals. The least time they did it was way back in 1966. The 70th ranked had already surprised many by making it to the Round of 16 and now see their fairytale extend.
The contest began on a dramatic note with Spain scoring on a Russian own goal in the 12th minute after an error by Sergei Ignashevich. It definitely was not the start Russia were hoping for. However, minutes ahead of the half-time, Artem Dzyuba struck to equalise. Russia will now meet the winner of Croatia vs Denmark in the quarterfinal.