Russia Beat Favourites Spain On Penalties To Advance Into World Cup Quarters

Hosts Russia have qualified for the quarterfinals at the ongoing FIFA World Cup tournament after they surprisingly eliminated favourites Spain on penalties in their last 16 clash at the Luzhnicki Stadium, Moscow.

Both sides played out a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time and extra time thereby needing penalties to decide who goes through to the last eight.

CSKA defender Sergei Ignashevich became the oldest player ever to score a World Cup own goal at the age of 39 after he diverted Marco Asensio’s 12th minute free-kick into his own net.

The Spanish team thereafter seized full control of the game but the hosts remained dogged and resolute in the face of persistent pressure from the 2010 World Cup winners.

Despite the pressure, Russia managed to drag themselves level in one of their rare forays into the Spanish penalty box.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was penalised for handball and striker Artem Dzyuba made no mistake from the spot to level proceedings just before the interval.

Spain continued to dominate the game until the end of 90 minutes but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities thanks in part to the strong defensive structure posed by the home side.

The last 16 clash became the first game to see extra time at the tournament.

Neither side managed to find the back of the net in the entire extra time duration of 30 minutes paving the way for the dreaded penalty shootout.

Russia goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev thereafter emerged as the hero as he saved two spot kicks from Koke and Iago Aspas to hand his team a 4-3 win in the first penalty shootout of the tournament.

The hosts will face winner of Sunday night’s last 16 clash between Croatia and Denmark in the next stage.