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Russian Federation beat Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

Russian Federation beat Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

"They played to get to penalties from the start". After Denis Cheryshev converted his spot kick, Akinfeev stopped Iago Aspas's effort with his legs to spark mass celebrations in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Forward Artem Dzyuba buried it for his third goal of the tournament, sending Spain keeper David de Gea the wrong way to equalise and awaken the subdued 78,000 crowd in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov has reverted back to his favourite 5-3-2 formation, with three central defenders and Artem Dzyuba as the lone forward.

Spain's midfielder Isco and Russia's Aleksandr Golovin.

After dominating possession at the start of the match, Spain opened the scoring in the 11th minute thanks to an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich. With every little victory, whether achieved resoundingly or narrowly, there's a collective sigh of relief and gratitude of having made it so far, of having their loyalty and presence repaid.

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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. The referee has awarded a spot kick to the hosts. "The fact that the game will be at Luzhniki Stadium with nearly 80,000 people supporting us is probably the only good outcome from the fact we finished second in our group", said Ignashevich. The 2010 champions could not do same; a development which has now seen Spain emerge as the latest big-name casualty at Russian Federation 2018, after Germany and Argentina.

Andres Iniesta put the hosts ahead 1-0 from the spot, but Fyodor Smolov returned fire for Russian Federation despite a hand from David De Gea in goal.

Aspas carved out an early chance in extra time with a run and cross from the left, but Carvajal was unable to turn it in and then Isco's low centre created another, Ignashevich clearing.

A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only 16 of them proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, which kicked off on June 14 and ended on June 28.

Spain followed suit as Rodrigo replaced Asensio, and the former went closest to ending the impasse, sprinting towards goal after a clever dummy only for Akinfeev to claw his shot away before the rebound from Koke was blocked.