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Another giant falls as Russian Federation eliminate Spain

04 Juillet 2018

Dzyuba forced a penalty and scored from the spot to keep Russian Federation in the game after falling behind 1-0 Sunday, then roared on his teammates as they kept the 120-minute match deadlocked and won the penalty shootout 4-3 against heavily favored Spain.

Russian Federation won a corner through Spanish confusion in defense in the 41st minute, and Alexander Samedov hit the ball for Dzyuba, who headed it straight into Gerard Pique's waving arm.

Akinfeev says, "We were hoping for penalties because Spain are hard to beat - Spain can't always be lucky". Hernandez is 38 and left the national team after Spain's first-round elimination in 2014.

Iniesta, interestingly dropped from the starting XI for this last 16 match of the Fifa World Cup 2018, seemed to make a difference after coming on with about 30 minutes to play, with the veteran midfielder providing that extra intensity that Spain were clearly lacking.

Akinfeev then saved Koke's effort, before Golovin, Ramos and Cheryshev scored theirs, meaning Aspas had to score.

He added: "We're having a fantastic World Cup". However, Cherchesov refused to get carried away and spoke like a man on a mission after his side booked a quarter-final clash with Croatia or Denmark.

It was the classic "tiki-taka" style that led to a World Cup title in 2010, bookended by a pair of European Championships.

"There were some feelings flashing up in your feet or your head, that it could be Spain for us", Dmitry Cheryshev said Saturday.

Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos scored for Spain.

In the end, it was another astonishing result in a competition which has seen Germany, Argentina and also Portugal depart already and increases the likelihood of a first-time victor lifting the trophy.

Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, regarded by many as the modern goalkeeping paragon, is Spain's scapegoat for their pitiful exit from the tournament; and rightfully so: his middling performances against the likes of Portugal, Iran, and Morocco culminated in an inability to defend against much of anything in the penalty shootout against Russian Federation.

"We're insanely happy", Dzyuba said. "We've given everyone a party and we believed in ourselves to the end".

Mark Geiger has been assigned to referee Tuesday's World Cup round of 16 match between England and Colombia, four years after he became the first American to officiate in the knockout stage of soccer's showcase.

Russian Federation was represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was on his feet and leaning on a protective barrier to watch the shootout.

Spain's frustration going into the half-time undoubtedly motivated their much more positive start to the second period - with more purposeful crossing and penetration at goal, but still struggling to create tangible goal-scoring opportunities.

And Russia were then gifted a penalty when Pique handled in the box.

As was the case from roughly half-time-ish onwards, penalties were inevitable and, after Koke had missed earlier in the shootout, a flailing foot from Akinfeev was enough to deny Iago Aspas and send Russian Federation through to the quarters...

Another giant falls as Russian Federation eliminate Spain