Igor Akinfeev's incredible kick save helps Russian Federation upset Spain


Russian Federation have eliminated Spain from the World Cup in a 4-3 penalty shootout, the hosts winning their last-16 tie after the sides were locked 1-1 after extra time at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia's 2018 World Cup campaign got off to a dream start on day one and and still going strong.

The 2010 World Cup winners have left Andres Iniesta out of their starting line-up.

Sergei Ignashevich became the oldest scorer of an own goal in World Cup history when the 38-year-old gave Spain an early lead at the Luzhniki Stadium.

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And the people of the internet are endlessly sad about it, with many taking to Twitter to reveal their heartbreak. Jacob Rabon IV tweeted two of the photos with the caption: 'I can't believe childhood is cancelled'.

Spain enjoyed the majority of the possession as half-time approached but were unable to penetrate Russia's well-organised defence and were punished in the 41st minute. But after consulting VAR the referee ruled out a penalty. Do Spain have reason to be upset?

After the match, hero-goalkeeper Akinfeev said Russia's game plan all along had been to hold on for a penalty shootout. With every little victory, whether achieved resoundingly or narrowly, there's a collective sigh of relief and gratitude of having made it so far, of having their loyalty and presence repaid. Akinfeev will make the front pages tomorrow, but his whole defensive line warrant praise.

Spain coach Fernando Hierro made a decision to field Sergio Busquets and Koke in front of the defence with David Silva, Isco and Marco Asensio ahead of them and Diego Costa as the lone centre forward. Spain has never lost to Russian Federation in six all-time meetings (4-0-2). It was a handball from Pique!

But Stanislav Cherchesov's Russian Federation, gathering strength from its fans in the capital city, ensured a gladiatorial battle to wrest an unbelievable win against one of the tournament favourites Spain.

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The equaliser came for the hosts late in the first half. Dzyuba steps up to the mark and slams home the spot kick from 12 yards out.

It may have been a dry 120 minutes but there was high drama in the shootout for the 78,000 spectators at Luzhniki Stadium, with all four Russian penalty-takers keeping their cool and Muscovite Akinfeev doing well to deny Koke's effort. Iniesta close to giving what would have surely been the victor for Spain. Spain's first corner of the match followed after 59 minutes, but Isco's cross was headed away by Dzubya. His shot from a tight angle forces Akinfeev into a save!

Fernando Hierro's charges continued their dominance after 20 minutes but they could not get through the hosts' defence in open play. He guessed right. Advantage Russia.

It was Nacho, in for Dani Carvajal at right-back, who won the free-kick that led to Spain taking the lead as he was caught by Yury Zhirkov to the right of the penalty area.

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While only looking average in his first two holes with pars, he turned on the jets with a birdie on the par three third hole. US Open champion Brooks Koepka got to five-under after 11 holes but finished poorly with four late bogeys in a 68.

"We hope this isn't the last World Cup for this generation".