PA Sport

Two Sergio Ramos penalties help Spain to draw in Russia

Two Sergio Ramos penalties help Spain to draw in Russia
By PA Sport

14/11/2017 at 22:38Updated 14/11/2017 at 22:42

Sergio Ramos scored two penalties as Spain played out an entertaining 3-3 draw against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in St Petersburg to maintain their unbeaten record.

Julen Lopetegui took his men to the Petrovsky Stadium on the back of eight wins from nine matches during 2017, and made five changes from the 5-0 victory over Costa Rica.

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba put the visitors ahead on nine minutes when he got on the end of Marco Asensio's cross to dampen the atmosphere among the home supporters.

Captain Ramos doubled the lead from the penalty spot after 35 minutes following handball by Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Daler Kuzyaev.

Russia, who lost 1-0 to Argentina in Moscow on Saturday, reduced the deficit just before the break through Fyodor Smolov.

Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Aleksey Miranchuk lifted the home crowd when he equalised from close range in the 51st minute following a cut-back from defender Yuri Zhirkov.

However, Spain then were swiftly awarded a controversial penalty when, as a free-kick was swung into the Russia area, Ramos went down in the area under a challenge from Giorgi Jikia, which was enough to convince the referee to point to the spot.

Real Madrid defender Ramos made no mistake, dispatching his second penalty into the top left corner.

Russia, though, earned themselves a well-deserved draw with 20 minutes left when Krasnodar frontman Smolov collected a lay-off from Kokorin some 20 yards out and crashed the ball into the top-left corner.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, though, produced an impressive late save to deny Smolov what would have been a hat-trick and in the process retained Spain's unbeaten run.