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How hosts Russia knocked Spain out of 2018 World Cup

By Joseph Kizza

Added 1st July 2018 04:48 PM

Russia beat former champions Spain to storm the quarterfinals

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Russia beat former champions Spain to storm the quarterfinals


Live reporting by Joseph Kizza







7:53pm     RUSSIA IN, SPAIN OUT - Another 'World Cupset'


Another giant of the footballing world is out.

First, it was Lionel Messi's Argentina against a Kylian Mbappe-inspired France.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal followed through the exit door, thanks to the work of an Edinson Cavani-steered Uruguay.

Today, it is game over for Andres Iniesta's Spain at this World Cup following a dramatic penalty shootout after 120 jam-packed minutes of football failed to separate the 2010 champions from hosts Russia.

Isn't this one of the best World Cups ever?

Personally, I would vote it among the top three. I rest my case.

So, it is France, Uruguay and now Russia through to the quarterfinals. Five slots are still up for grabs.

Tonight, another of those spots will be taken as Croatia take on Denmark.





What another thriller at this tournament!


If you thought France v Argentina on Saturday was super entertaining, this one leap-frogs it. What drama!

What celebrations inside Luzhniki Stadium after an absorbing match!

Igor Akinfeev, who has saved two penalties, will definitely grace the front and back pages of Russian dailies Monday.

Russia dared to dream. And they have been rewarded. Their dreams have turned into reality.

Don't know about you, but I enjoyed every bit of this drama. More of such games please!








MISSED - Iago Aspas (Spain)

Russia through to quarterfinals!


Eighth penalty: GOAL - Denis Cheryshev (Russia)

If Spain miss, Russia are through

Seventh penalty: GOAL - Sergio Ramos (Spain)

Sixth penalty: GOAL - Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)

Fifth penalty: MISSED - Koke (Spain)

Advantage Russia!

Fourth penalty: GOAL - Sergey Ignashevich (Russia)

Third penalty: GOAL - Gerard Pique (Spain)

Second penalty: GOAL - Fedor Smolov (Russia)

First penalty: GOAL - Iniesta (Spain)




120min       PENALTY SHOOTOUT!

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Well, well, well.

After a dramatic 120 minutes of football, here we are. PENALTY SHOOTOUT.

That's what will separate these two sides.

This is uncharted territory for Russia. Spain, on the other end, have been here before.





(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Spaniards make a final push.

But the Russians just won't let this one slip through their fingers.



119min       Belief at its highest

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

That's the mood here as penalties loom ever large and wide!




116min       Last-gasp winner?

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Spain snatched the World Cup from The Netherlands in extra time in the 2010 World Cup. Andres Iniesta was the scorer of that goal.

Can the veteran Barcelona FC man replicate his heroics inside a vociferous stadium in Moscow?



114min       VAR consulted

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

VAR is for the second time in this entertaining game being consulted.

This is after the Spanish players mob the referee after there appears to have been plenty of tagging and shoving in the Russian box during a freekick swept in by Koke.

But after consultation, the home crowd roars into life when the referee waves  for play to continue.

No penalty.



108min       CLOSE! -  Rodrigo (Spain)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

What a shot by susbtitute Rodrigo! And what a heroic save by Igor Akinfeev to keep that one out!

A Spanish goal very VERY imminent here.

Can the Golden Eagles hang on?




107min        Shot drought for Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Russia have played very defensively here.

Their only shot on target came from Artem Dzyuba's penalty that now seems ages ago.

A lot has happened since that goal. A lot, meaning Spanish dominance.





105min        CHANGE OF GUARD - Second half (extra time)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

It is a swift change of positions on the pitch as both sets of players cross over for the start of the second half of extra time.

Penalties seem a very likely possibility now.

Fifteen minutes left.




105min        CLOSE! -  Pique (Spain)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Anyone smelling a penalty shootout?

Looks like that's where we are heading, but Gerard Pique heads goalwards from a last-minute freekick in the hope of making up for that penalty he gave away earlier in the game.

Easy for the Russian keeper though.

One minute of added time.



103min        SUBSTITUTION - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Marco Asensio has been full of industry in this game. He is tired now, and will give way for Rodrigo.

Spain have now made more than 1,000 passes in this game.

Beat that!



99min        CLOSE! - Asensio (Spain)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

That was a meaningful effort on target by Marco Asensio from about 30 yards out. But the home goalkeeper easily collects.




96min        SUBSTITUTION - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Aleksandr Erokhin comes on for Daler Kuziaev.



93min        Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Red are pushing for a breakthrough, but the Russians are solid.

Iniesta, Isco and Aspas are making use of the left flank, but with no successful access.




        KICKOFF! - First half (Extra time)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

It was not a long rest and the players are back for action with their now exhausted legs.

Each half here lasts 15 minutes.

Spain have already hit the ground running. They want the winner early.





(Spain 1 Russia 1)

So 90 minutes are done without a winner.

We shall go into 30 minutes of extra time. What a game!





90 (+2)min        Final surge

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The crowd will the hosts on as Stanislav Cherchesov's men make a final push for a winner.

No, they are stopped in their tracks.





(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Still we have no winner.

The entire stadium is in maximum volume.




89min        Spain pile more pressure

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Russia are in full defensive mode in these dying minutes.

Spain get two corners in a space of a minute, but the hosts clear the threat.




86min        CLOSE! - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Spain have never beaten the hosts of a World Cup.

Can they today?





85min        CLOSE! - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Spain have 76% of the ball as we speak. And for a moment there, they instantly transform that dominance into a threat on goal as Andres Iniesta draws Igor Akinfeev into a fine save.

Fellow substitute Iago Aspas fires the ball back into the space, but it spins off.



81min        VAR consulted

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The referee will check with the VAR team that is closed in private. There was a big call for a handball inside the Russian box.

The outcome of the consultations?

Well, nah, says the ref. Not a chance.

Play resumes. Just under 10 minutes left on the clock. Whoever scores now will surely hog the headlines.




79min        SUBSTITUTION - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Red make their third and final substitution.

Diego Costa, who had appeared industrious at the beginning of this second half, is off and on comes Iago Aspas.

A Spain goal looks inevitable. But the Russians look dangerous whenever they surge forward. They haven't had a shot yet in this half though.




75min        Iniesta in the thick of things

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

He hasn't been on for more than 10 minutes but Andres Iniesta is already a menace at the heart of the Russian goal.




73min        Solid Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Russians, ever rallied on by their fans, have proved to be impenetrable at the back.

The Spaniards, however, are controlling the game.




  70min        YELLOW CARD - Zobnin (Russia)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

For his cynical challenge, Roman Zobnin is flashed the yellow card.


Into the last 20 minutes of this game.



69min        SUBSTITUTION - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Spain make another change.

Nacho hobbles off and on jogs Dani Carvajal.



66min        SUBSTITUTION - Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

And speaking of fresh pair of legs,  Spain bring on veteran Andres Iniesta.

The Spaniard takes some few more sips of water and coach advice, before exchanging guard with Manchester City forward David Silva, whom he replaces.

Both sets of crowds are willing their players on.





64min        SUBSTITUTION - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

That hosts exhaust their normal time substitution slots. Goalscorer Artem Dzyuba is given a huge applause by the home crowd as he trots off the pitch.

Fedor Smolov is the fresh pair of legs that replaces him.



60min        SUBSTITUTION - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Denis Cheryshev comes on for Alexander Samedov. That is Russia's second change. One more left.




58min        No way through for Spain

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

It is 52 years since Russia (or the USSR) won a World Cup knockout stage game. The last one was a 2-1 win over Hungary in 1966.

Against Spain here, the hosts will be credited for defending well.




56min        CLOSE! - Isco (Spain)

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

That was a good run by Isco, who gives his minders a hard time on the left flank before trying to slot into the path of the Russian goal.

His effort is blocked for a corner.

Isco has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 15 international matches for his nation, in which he has scored 10 and assisted two.




53min        Vociferous crowd

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

When Russia make a break towards the Spanish half, the crowd erupts into life.

The crowd is as vociferous as it is deafening.




49min        Diego Costa inching close

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Atletico Madrid striker has quite a presence in front of goal.

He has twice come close to restoring his side's lead in this half. He will require more precision if he is to plant the ball behind home keeper Igor Akinfeev.





47min        Iniesta warming up

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Spain's Andres Iniesta has not seen the net in a major tournament since scoring the winner at the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

He started on the bench in today's game, but he is seen warming up with fellow players.

Fernando Hierro is undoubtedly thinking of bringing him on any time soon.




        KICKOFF! - Second half

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

And we are back for another 45 minutes of knockout football.

Moments before kickoff, Russia made a change. Vladimir Granat came on in place of Yury Zhirkov.

I should remind you that we MUST get a winner here. It cannot end in a draw.




5:57pm        HALF TIME

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Russia are yet to beat Spain in 27 years (losing four times and drawing twice). Their most recent meeting was in November last year in a friendly. They shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw.

Those three goals by Spain in that draw were among the 10 that The Red have netted against Russia in their last three meetings. The seven came during two matches at the Euro 2008.




        HALF TIME - It's all even

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

Well, that was fast. And interesting.

Action comes to an end - for now - inside a fired-up Luzhniki Stadium.






(Spain 1 Russia 1)

We shall have two additional minutes of play in a game that has been, for lack of a better word, topsy-turvy in nature.

Spain were in control for large periods of the game, but now find themselves dragged back to the drawing board by a resilient Russian side.

This is a World Cup of surprises. Are we about to see more from that script?




43min        Unwanted trend for De Gea

(Spain 1 Russia 1)

The Spanish goalkeeper, who plays for Manchester United, has now conceded six goals from seven shots on target at this competition.







   42min     GOAL! - Russia

(Spain 0  Russia  1)

It is back to square one.

Artem Dzyuba sends David de Gea the wrong to give a nation hope.

Now we have a game on our hands!









 39min        PENALTY! - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

Gerard Pique is the culprit and the Spanish defender is yellow-carded.

A cornerkick is delivered into the Spanish box, lanky Artem Dzyuba rises highest to head into the goal but Pique's hand is in its path.

The referee points to the spot, all the while ignoring protests from the Spanish players.

That is the 26th penalty of this tournament.




38min        CLOSE! - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

Koke makes a hush clearing inside the box as the Russians make a push for an equaliser seven minutes before the break.

Freekick for the hosts.




35min        CLOSE! - Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

David de Gea is drawn into a rare stretch here by Aleksandr Golovin, who once allowed space near the Spanish edge, attempts to score the kind of goal that Edinson Cavani scored against Portugal Saturday night.

His curler is not on target though.




30min        Top passers

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

By the way, at the group stage, Spain completed as many as 2,089 passes they had attempted (2,294). That was the highest as this tournament.

Here in Luzhniki Stadium, against a more direct Russian side, The Red, are still excelling in that department as we reach the half-hour mark of the game.




27min        Golden Eagles playing positively

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

The hosts are beginning to advance more, in pursuit of a leveler before the break.

At this tournament ahead of today's clash, they had the least number of goalscoring chances created - 18. In contrast, Spain had created 24 more chances.

But the Russians' optimism may be catalysed by the fact that Spanish goalie David de Gea has conceded from each of the first four shots on target he has faced at this World Cup edition in Russia.




23min        Aerial power

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

Russia are ranked top for winning aerial challenges at this World Cup.

But they fail to make that advantage count when they allow Spain to deal with a freekick whipped into the box by Alexander Samedov.

The Russian crowd is still willing their side on. Belief is key here.




20min        Rare appearance for Russia

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

Spain have reached the World Cup quarter-finals on five previous occasions.

In contrast, since the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 (when I was just five), the Golden Eagles have played in the knockout stage of a major tournament only once.




17min        Possession kings

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

We all know how Spain love to keep their ball. In fact, since the beginning of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, The Red have registered more than 50% ball possession in 32 of their 33 games at major tournaments.

Beat that!

At the moment, they are doing what they do best. They have 75% of the ball versus Russia's 25%.




14min        Oldest scorer of World Cup own goal

(Spain 1 Russia 0)

Sergey Ignashevich is now the holder of an unwanted record at the competition. At 38, the Russian has become the oldest scorer of an own goal at the World Cup.






  12min     GOAL! - Spain

(Spain 1  Russia  0)

That was quick!

The 10th own goal of this tournament sees the hosts punished from a freekick delivered by Marco Asensio. After Yury Zhirkov brings down Nacho near the edge of the Russian box, Asensio is the man that stands over the ball.

The Spaniard sweeps in the ball with his left boot, and Sergey Ignashevich, man-marking Sergio Ramos, inadvertently gets on the end of the ball, which beats his keeper Igor Akinfeev.

Captain Ramos, who was heavily involved in the goal, leads the celebrations.








07min        Dealing with the best

(Spain 0 Russia 0)

In the buildup, Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov admitted that it is hard to deal with the Spanish kind of football but that they would try to.

So far, his side are trying to contain their more illustrious opponents - and I must say, they are not shabby at all.




04min        Home crowd fired up

(Spain 0 Russia 0)

Spain have dominated the opening three minutes of this game, but that is not hushing the home crowd.

Every time Russia gain possession, the crowd volume goes two notches higher. Aleksandr Golovin makes a break on the right flank but he won't go past Gerard Pique, who sticks out his leg to block for a corner.

Alexander Samedov whips in the corner but the Spaniards do good defending to clear any lingering danger.



02min        Masters of possession

(Spain 0 Russia 0)

So we are at the stage of the tournament where you are playing for a win or defeat. Lose, and you are out. Beat your opponent and you advance.





        KICKOFF! - First half underway

(Spain 0 Russia 0)

And it is game on!

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers is handling today's game.

It is The Red versus the Golden Eagles.

Notably, Andres Inieta is on the bench for Spain.




4:56pm        LINEUPS - Russia

(Spain v Russia at 5pm)

The hosts have chosen a 5-3-2 formation.

STARTING XI: Akinfeev, Kutepov, Kudriashov, Ignashevich, Fernandes, Zhirkov, Samedov, Zobnin, Kuziaev, Dzyuba, Golovin



4:55pm        LINEUPS - Spain

(Spain v Russia at 5pm)

Spain are going with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

STARTING XI: De Gea, Nacho, Alba, Pique, Ramos, Koke, Sergio, Silva, Isco, Asensio, Costa



4:53pm        Welcome to Moscow!

(Spain v Russia at 5pm)

We are at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for this evening's game.

Home expectations in full force.

Can Russia produce a major upset here?








4:50pm        Here we are once again!

(Spain v Russia at 5pm)

The World Cup tournament has taken a plunge into the deep waters, and as sure as day and night, we have had some casualties.

Two of the sport's greatest footballers have not buoyed to the surface on the other end of this tricky pool. Lionel Messi's Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal were both knocked out of the competition by France and Uruguay, respectively.

Shall we see any other BIG victims of this ruthless yet loveable sport?

We have Spain and hosts Russia meeting in the next few minutes to see who progresses to the quarter-finals.

Don't forget to refresh this page for updates.








  20min     GOAL! - Spain

(Spain 0  Russia  0)

So we are at the stage of the tournament where you are playing for a win or defeat. Lose, and you are out. Beat your opponent and you advance.

- In the buildup, Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov admitted that it is hard to deal with the Spanish kind of football but that they would try to.




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