World Cup hosts Russia caused a huge upset as they beat Spain on penalties to move into the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Veteran goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev was the hero as he saved two penalties, from Koke and Iago Aspas, as Russia held their nerve to win the shootout 4-3.
The teams couldn’t be separated at 1-1 after extra time, even though Spain dominated the game from start to finish – going ahead with a 12th-minute own goal from Sergei Ignashevich as it was all one-way traffic.
Although they dominated possession, Spain were not carving out chances against a well-organised Russian defence, and the hosts got back into the game when Gerard Pique stupidly gave away a penalty for handball.
Artem Dzyuba slotted home the penalty four minutes before the break and that gave Russia something to hang on to, which they did with dogged determination against a Spain team who were bitterly disappointing with a lack of urgency and cutting edge.
It was not pretty as Russia sat back but Spain could not even work Akinfeev and their best chance came at the end of extra time as Spain’s players were baying for VAR after more grappling in the box.
Russia got away with it despite a VAR review. The noise that erupted when the referee finally waved played on was immense but was capped by the roar that greeted the final whistle and penalties.
Iniesta stepped up first and scored, Smolov replied but David De Gea got a fingertip to it. Pique scored his and Ignashevich, who was superb after his own goal, coolly replied.
Akinfeev then saved Koke’s effort, before Golovin, Ramos and Cheryshev scored theirs, meaning Aspas had to score. He did not and Russia went wild.
Russia, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, now move on to the quarer-finals.
- Russia have reached the quarter-final of the World Cup for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
- Spain have lost three of their four World Cup penalty shootouts (1986 v Belgium, 2002 v South Korea and in this match).
- Host nations have now won each of their last five penalty shootouts at the World Cup, since Italy lost to Argentina in the 1990 semi-final.
- Spain completed 1006 passes in this match, only 21 fewer than Russia have completed in their four World Cup matches (1027).
- Artem Dzyuba scored with all three of his shots on target at the 2018 World Cup.
- Russia’s veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich became the oldest player to score an own goal at the World Cup, aged 38 years and 352 days.
- Ignashevich’s own goal for Russia was the 10th own goal scored at the 2018 World Cup – double the number scored at the 2014 World Cup (5).
- Russia scored two own goals at the 2018 World Cup – the only other nation to score more than one own goal at a single World Cup tournament were Bulgaria in 1966 (also two).
- Including the penalty shootout in this match, Spain goalkeeper David De Gea made just one save in his four matches at the 2018 World Cup.
- Although Spain led for 29 minutes and 52 seconds in the first half (between the 12th and 41st minutes), they didn’t attempt their first shot at goal until the 45th minute.
- Sergio Ramos made his 17th appearance for Spain at the World Cup in this game, a record for an outfield Spanish player and equalling the overall record held by goalkeeper Iker Casillas.