Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Spain, Russia drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes

Spain, Russia drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes

Russian Federation celebrated one of their most famous wins at the World Cup in Moscow yesterday when they defeated 2010 champions Spain 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals.

Spain came close to grabbing a victor five minutes from time as a low strike from Iniesta was pushed away by Akinfeev, with the follow up shot dribbling across the face of goal with nobody on hand to apply the finish touch.

However, Russia got a penalty five minutes before the break with Gerard Piquè penalised for a raised arm.

After the appeals died down and Pique was deservedly booked, Dzyuba sent de Gea the wrong way and his countrymen - who filled more than three-quarters of the stadium - wild with delirium.

"I'm not an opportunist", said Hierro, who was part of Lopetegui's coaching staff.

"In the second half, we were trying to defend", Akinfeev said after Russian Federation won 4-3 on penalties when the match ended at 1-all.

Spain's Sergio Ramos blows a kiss as he celebrates after Spain score the opening goal of the game, after Russia's Sergei Ignashevich scored an own goal during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, July 1, 2018.

Dropped to bench for a tournament game for the first time in 12 years, Iniesta still almost won the game with Spain's best effort to break down the mass ranks of Russian Federation resistence.

Andres Iniesta, the elegant midfielder who was a symbol of Spain's golden generation, retired from worldwide soccer following the team's loss to Russian Federation in a penalty shootout at the World Cup on Sunday. "He is one of the best players in Spanish football history - I can't say anything else".

Kasper Schmeichel - roared on by watching father Peter in the stands - had denied Luka Modric from the spot deep into extra-time (116) after Mathias Jorgensen had lunged in on Ante Rebic with the game tied at 1-1.

Alexander Samedov - 5 - The experienced forward looked to threaten going forward, and he played his role effectively before coming off for the more creative Denis Cheryshev in the second half.

Caretaker manager Fernando Hierro's decision to add the workmanlike qualities of Koke and Marcos Asensio over the inventive brilliance of Andres Iniesta and Thiago Alcantara in the midfield defied logic, and Spain finally paid a heavy price for it.

But this time, they just passed side-to-side, sometimes backwards, nearly never to attack.

More than 74 per cent possession, an astonishing 1,137 passes and utter territorial domination, yet the only statistic that counted in the end for Spain was the two penalties they missed after they strangled themselves out of the World Cup.

The CSKA Moscow goalkeeper has been a regular for his national team since making his worldwide debut fourteen years ago and while the 32-year old has more clean sheets than any other Russian goalkeeper in history, his club record in European tournaments has been not quite up to the mark. Hernandez is 38 and left the national team after Spain's first-round elimination in 2014. "He thought it was the best thing to do".

Iniesta, who struggled physically in recent years, converted Spain's first penalty in the shootout with what was his last ever shot at a World Cup. Pique, Ramos, David Silva, Costa and Sergio Busquets will be 33 or older.

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