Spain Break World Cup Passing Record

Spain Break World Cup Passing Record

Captain Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties as Russian Federation triumphed 4-3 in a dramatic shootout in Moscow to reach a first quarter-final since the Soviet era, in 1970.

That was until the 85th minute, when after almost 30 minutes without a significant chance on goal, Iniesta stung the palms of Igor Akinfeev, who completed a fine double save to deny Iago Aspas on the follow up, sending the tie into extra time.

Spain led in the 12th minute, when captain Sergio Ramos helped force Russia's Sergei Ignashevich into an own goal, when his back was turned to the play.

Artem Dzyuba, the lone centre-forward whose thankless task it was to try and punish Spain on Russia's few breaks, was less restrained.

In pretty much his only action before the shootout, goalkeeper David De Gea dived right as the Dzyuba's third goal of the tournament went to his left.

"Everything is changing, " Spain coach Fernando Hierro said through a translator.

Russian Federation were given a penalty when Gerard Pique put up a hand to block a header from Dzyuba.

Spain's dramatic defeat by Russian Federation on penalties in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday ensured that at least one of this year's finalists will not have reached the title decider for half a century, if at all.

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He will forever be remembered for the most important goal in Spain's history to win the World Cup eight years ago, but Andres Iniesta's global career ended in sad fashion among delirium for the hosts in Moscow.

The home crowd greeted the arrival of extra time as if they had won the World Cup but Spain, seeing several of their rivals dropping to the floor with cramp and exhaustion, were no doubt confident that the hosts would eventually crack if they just kept rolling the ball from side to side. The loss continues their streak of never having beaten a host nation at the World Cup.

Russian Federation will now face either Croatia or Denmark in the quarter-final, the first time they have reached the last eight since 1970. The Spanish midfielder's eyes were red, trying hard to hold back tears as another pre-tournament favourite took a tumble in the minefield of Moscow.

Later in Sochi, Ronaldo - who started the World Cup with a hat-trick against Spain - was powerless to prevent Portugal slipping out of the tournament as Edinson Cavani scored two brilliant goals in a 2-1 win to send the European champions home. We don't like this type of structure with three central defenders but they trusted me and I spoke with every player individually.

"Players will not do things just because the coach says so".

"I had to persuade them this was the only way as they don't like this system", said Cherchesov, whose side had one shot on target in two hours of football. It is a reality that is my last match with the national team - at an individual level a wonderful stage is over.

When Ignashevich wrestled with Ramos for Marcos Asensio's cross on 11 minutes and deflected the ball in, Spain might have expected their opponents to abandon their conservative gameplan.

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