Hosts Russia Shock Spain In Penalty Shoot Out Win
Koke and Iago Aspas were the villains for Spain as Russia went through to the World Cup quarter finals after shocking the Iberains on penalties.
Hosts Russia and one of the tournament favourites Spain played out the most boring game of the knockout stages so far as the two sides couldn't be separated in normal time.
Many worried before the tournament about Russia not getting past the Group Stages. Despite being drawn in an easy group the hosts were the worst ranked side according to FIFA going into the tournament.
However they played very well in their first two games and booked a last 16 tie against 2010 World Cup winners Spain, themselves lucky to top the group and arguably lucky to even go through.
Spain were expected to find the match easy and dominated not just the early exchanges but the whole match and scored after 12 minutes when Sergei Ignashevich put the ball into his own net, no matter how much Sergio Ramos wanted to claim it.
Despite having all the possession Fernando Hierro's side couldn't make it count and just before halftime Gerard Pique conceded a penalty by handling the ball at a Russia corner.
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Artem Dzyuba put the spot kick away and Russia were level. It was a parity that they held on to throughout the rest of the 90 minutes as Spain held all the possession but barely had a chance to score.
Extra time was the same with Pique's header from a free kick the best chance for Spain in the first 15 minutes of the additional time.
Russia's Aleksandr Erokhin becoming the first ever fourth substitute in a World Cup game was probably the most interesting part of the first half of extra time but Rodrigo's run into the box gave some excitement in the second period but if he'd squared the ball Spain may have scored.
Spain were then denied a clear penalty with five minutes to go. Both Pique and Ramos seemed to be held in the box at a free kick and neither the ref or VAR seemed to think there was an issue, despite everyone else thinking otherwise.
And so it went to penalties.
Russia converted all four of their spot kicks as Iago Aspas and Koke both had theirs saved meaning that the hosts shocked the world to go through to a quarter final for the first time since 1970.
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