Hosts Russia took out the better of Spain by defeating the favourites of the game 4-3 (1-1) via penalty shootouts and entered the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich’s own goal in the 12th minute opened Spain’s account before Artem Dzyuba struck in the 41st minute to equalise. In the penalty shootout, Koke and Iago Aspas missed their attempts for Spain while the Russians converted their first four spot kicks.
This is the best performance by Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The best performance by the Soviet Union was a fourth place finish in 1966 when they lost 1-2 to the then West Germany in the semi-finals.
Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev emerged as the hero for Russia as he saved two penalties. His job was made easier by poor placement by Koke and Aspas.