Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Spain Out Of World Cup As Russia Wins, 4-3

Cheryshev says Russia can hurt Spain Spain vs. Russia: Here's the penalty kick save by Igor Akinfeev that sent World Cup favorites Spain home
Cassandra Gardner | 04 July, 2018, 17:24

When Rodrigo charged down the right flank, he forced a good save from Igor Akinfeev, before Dani Carvajal mishit the rebound.

"We are having a fantastic World Cup", said Akinfeev, although he hardly needed to tell anyone.

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. Spain join former champions Germany and Argentina as the fancied teams eliminated from the tournament.

In the end he needed only four after Akinfeev's heroics completed one of the all-time great World Cup backs-to-the-wall performances and sent Russian Federation into the quarter-finals. The clash against Spain is the 38-year-old's 126th game for his country since 2002, reported Sputnik news agency.

Spain's Gerard Pique argues against the penalty awarded against him. But Akinfeev thwarted Koke; Golovin, Ramos and Cheryshev converted, and Aspas failed to match them.

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

Akinfeev had already made a string of fine saves as Russian Federation held on to force extra-time and spot-kicks.

Spain coach Fernando Hierro had said the day before that teams win tournaments by making fewest mistakes.

Wow! Plucky old Russian Federation, home to 143-odd million, see off 2010 world champions on penalties. "We left our soul in the pitch".

As a child, Cheryshev followed his father around Spain from Sporting Gijon to Burgos and then to Real Madrid, where Dmitry Cheryshev coached in the academy and his son learned the game.

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Spain substitute Andres Iniesta stepped up first and scored, to which Fyodor Smolov replied. The 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder came off the bench and nearly won the game with an 85th-minute shot well saved by Akinfeev.

Subasic's three saves and Schmeichel's two made it the most combined saves in a World Cup shootout.

They held firm as extra time reached the halfway point and then summoned a Herculean final effort in the final 15 minutes as Spain finally seemed to realize their looming predicament.

Spain's second game v Iran was a tough test against a seriously stubborn defense, they scraped through with a 1-0 win, which was probably a fair result based on the game. Sergio Ramos' clever back-post movement had 39-year-old Sergei Ignashevich scrambling.

Dzyuba duly sent David de Gea the wrong way with a penalty for his third goal of the tournament.

He said: "On the fitness level, we can show more here". "That's what we have to believe".

The Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2018 begins this Saturday.

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

Spain deserved more from the 120 minutes.

Tensions high as the rain fell, a flashpoint came late in extra-time when Ignashevich grappled with Pique in the box, but appeals were waved away after a VAR review and spot-kicks would be decisive.

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