Akinfeev & Russia put the pain in Spain

2018 FIFA World Cup


Russia defeated overwhelming favourites Spain 4-3 on penalties after it ended 1-1 at full time in the round of 16 encounter at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

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After a stout defensive effort skipper Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties to send the hosts to an unprecedented quarter final.

The respective paths of both teams coming into the round of 16 were rather contrasting. Spain had several ups and downs in their performances but managed to finish on top of the group while Russia had to settle with a second-place finish in group A due to a defeat against Uruguay in the final match.

Spain dominated in terms of possession as they held 71% possession in the first half but managed only two shots on target.

12 minutes into the game it was Spain who drew the first blood of the game. A freekick by Marco Asensio which was contested by Sergio Ramos and Sergei Ignashevich deflected off the Russian man as an own goal to give the Spaniards the lead.

As the first half progressed, to the delight of the Russian players and supporters Gerard Pique was booked for a handball inside the penalty box. Striker Artem Dzyuba, then stepped on to the penalty spot and held his composure as he managed to send David De Gea the wrong way to level the scores.

Half Time – Spain 1 – 1 Russia

Spain continued their dominative possessional play into the second half as they managed to create more threatening play than they did in the first half of the game.

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However, the Russian defence was up to the task by displaying great tactical awareness as they managed to stick to their game plan on denying the Spaniards a goal scoring opportunity which carried the goal-less second half into extra time.  

Full Time – Spain 1 – 1 Russia

Extra Time

Spain did manage to get two attempts on goal but it was straight into the hands of the Russian goal keeper as the deadlock remained during the first half of extra time.

The game kept getting tensed as Russia made every effort to stay on level terms while Spain made every attempt to score but playing time was insufficient to decide the better off between the defensive and offensive excellence between the sides.

Penalty Shootout

In the penalty shootout Akinfeev saved penalties of Koke and Iago Aspas as Russia won 4-3. For Spain Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos scored. For Russia it was Fedor Smolov, Sergei Ignashevich, Aleksandr Golovin, Denis Cheryshev.

Man of the Match – Igor Akinfeev

Goal Scorers
Spain – Sergei Ignashevich 12’ (OG)
Russia – Artem Dzyuba 41’ (P)

Yellow Cards
Spain – Gerard Pique 40’
Russia – Ilya Kutepov 54’, Roman Zobnin 71’

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