Captain Igor Akinfeev was the hero as hosts Russia beat Spain on penalties to progress to the quarter finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The game ended as 1-1 during regulation time and extra time yielded no outcome. Akinfeev saved the penalties of Koke and Iago Aspas as Russia beat Spain 4-3 on penalties.
Spain opened the scoring in the 12th minute through an own goal from Ignashevich from a free kick. Russia won a penalty late in the first after a hand ball from Gerrard Pique of which was initially denied by the Ref but VAR overturned his decision. Dzyuba took and excellent penalty to equalise for the hosts.
Spain made a decision to bench Andres Iniesta and there creativity clearly took some hit . The likes of Koke and Asensio struggled against a well drilled Russian defence. Despite making over 800 passes this game Spain struggled to create any clear cut chances and were just passing the ball around.
Russia looked well drilled an their counter attacking style of football looked to have worked well. Dzyuba was physically dominant over the likes of Ramos and Pique, But Russia couldn’t manage to put bodies into the box and most of their counter attacks were wasted as Dzyuba or Smolov who replaced him in the second half were only players inside the box. The game headed into the extra time.