Hosts Russia have reached the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup after beating Spain 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the Luzhniki Stadium.
This will go down as one of the biggest shocks of the tournament, with Spain failing to make their dominance of possession count as Russia held firm and stuck to their defensive gameplan. In the end, the 2010 World Cup winners were made to pay for their lack of ruthlessness.
An own goal from Sergei Ignashevich gave Spain the lead after just 11 minutes, with the Russian veteran diverting the ball into his own net as he wrestled Sergio Ramos to the ground from a free-kick.
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Russia were awarded a penalty five minutes before half-time after a handball from Gerard Pique, with Artem Dzyuba stepping up to the mark to restore parity despite Spain’s dominance of the ball. That spot kick gave an indication of what was to follow.
Koke had his penalty saved early in the shootout, giving Russia the advantage, and then Igor Akinfeev saved Iago Aspas’ spot kick with his foot to send his side into the last eight and send Spain home from the tournament.

Diego Costa of Spain consoles teammate Sergio Ramos of Spain who looks dejected following his sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 1, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Do Spain have reason to be upset over the use of VAR?

Everyone inside the Luzhniki Stadium, and all those watching at home, held their breath as the referee and the VAR team checked footage for holding on Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos late on in extra time. Ultimately, they decided not to go to an official review despite grappling clearly taking place. Do Spain have reason to be upset?

MAN OF THE MATCH - Igor Akinfeev (Russia)

Akinfeev was the hero for Russia, saving two spot kicks in the shootout, but he deserves acknowledgement as part of a wider defensive gameplan from the host nation. Some will criticise them for playing with such little ambition, but Russia’s defensive play was extraordinary. Spain couldn’t find a way through and in the end they were made to pay for that. Akinfeev will make the front pages tomorrow, but his whole defensive line warrant praise.

Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saves a shot by Spain's forward Iago Aspas in a penalty shootout leading to Russia winning the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Spain and Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 1, 2018.

Image credit: Getty Images


Spain - De Gea 5, Nacho 5, Pique 4, Ramos 5, Alba 6, Koke 5, Busquets 5, Silva 5, Isco 7, Asensio 5, Costa 5. Subs - Aspas 6, Iniesta 5, Carvajal 5, Rodrigo 7.
Russia - Akinfeev 7, Fernandes 5, Kudryashov 7, Kutepov 7, Ignashevich 7, Zhirkov 5, Samedov 6, Kuzyaev 5, Golovin 6, Zobnin 5, Dzyuba 6. Subs - Granat 5, Smolov 6, Cheryshev 6, Erokhin 5.


12’ GOAL! Spain 1-0 Russia: Spain have taken the lead! Ignashevich was only interested in wrestling Ramos at the back post from a corner kick swung into the box and the Russian centre back ended up putting through his own net.
40’ PENALTY KICK TO RUSSIA! The referee has awarded a spot kick to the hosts. It was a handball from Pique!
41’ GOAL! Spain 1-1 Russia: Russia are level! They have been second best in this first half, but they are back on level terms. Dzyuba steps up to the mark and slams home the spot kick from 12 yards out. What a noise inside the Luzhniki Stadium!
86’ AKINFEEV SAVE! Iniesta close to giving what would have surely been the winner for Spain. He struck the shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper was down quickly to make the save
110’ RODRIGO ON THE CHARGE! For the first time in the match a Spanish player gets in behind, with Rodrigo surging forward. His shot from a tight angle forces Akinfeev into a save!
115’ BIG PENALTY CLAIM! The Spanish players are incensed that they haven't been awarded a penalty kick for what they perceived to be a foul in the box. They suspected holding.

Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Rodrigo of Spain battle with the Russia players in the box during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 1, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Image credit: Getty Images

116’ NO PENALTY! Controversial decision by the officials. They were checking the game footage for holding on Pique and Ramos, but they have decided that it wasn't a penalty.
SPAIN PENALTY SAVED! Incredible! Akinfeev has saved Koke's spot kick! He guessed right. Advantage Russia. Spain 2-2 Russia after five penalties.
AKINFEEV SAVES! RUSSIA ARE THROUGH! Aspas' penalty kick is saved and the hosts are through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Spain are out!


  • Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in four of Russia's last seven World Cup goals, scoring three and assisting another.
  • Russia became the first team to score more than one own goals at a World Cup since 1966, when Bulgaria conceded two.
  • Host nations have now won each of their last five penalty shootouts at the World Cup - France in 1998, South Korea in 2002, Germany in 2006, Brazil in 2014 and Russia in 2018.
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