Russian Federation stuns Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

Mike Kireev  Global Look Press

Mike Kireev Global Look Press

After overcoming the Spanish national team and moving to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, "Those fans will now get at least one more chance to cheer", the media writes.

It is unclear if interim coach Fernando Hierro will continue in a job he did not seek before Julen Lopetegui was sent home.

Spain's Sergio Ramos, Isco and team mates after losing the penalty shootout.

As a child, Cheryshev followed his father around Spain from Sporting Gijon to Burgos and then to Real Madrid, where Dmitry Cheryshev coached in the academy and his son learned the game.

After a long period of Spanish possession, Dzyuba finally won a header to give Russian Federation its first sight of goal from which Golovin failed to hit the target. But Croatia won the shootout 3-2 after Danijel Subasic saved three spot-kicks.

Previous defeats by Spain, and the fact his side had played with 10 for much of their last game against Uruguay, convinced boss Cherchesov to pick a 5-3-1-1 formation in the hope that discretion really is the better part of valour.

They looked, however, equally toothless up front, with Aleksandr Golovin's curled effort their only noteworthy opportunity until Gerard Pique's handball gave them a chance to level with a penalty in the 42 minute. Sergei Ignashevich seemed more concerned by bulldozing Sergio Ramos down in the six-yard box than defending the Spain corner, and with his back to the ball accidentally clipped it over the line to put Russian Federation behind in the 11th minute.

Pundits, fans and conspiracy theorists will be talking themselves hoarse about just what Gerard Pique was doing when he conceded a penalty to Russian Federation after Dzyuba's header thumped into his outstretched arm.

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Forward Artem Dzyuba buried it for his third goal of the tournament to awaken the subdued crowd.

"On the whole, it was a fantastic game and the result as we showed our dedication and executed the match plan", Samedov told journalists. "We won against them - nobody believed we could, but we did".

King Felipe VI of Spain was at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Russian Federation was represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was on his feet and leaning on a protective barrier to watch the shootout. Russian Federation has completed the same number of passes in four World Cup matches combined, just 202 Sunday.

Rodrigo was Spain's final substitution in extra time and livened up the game.

It was the worst possible start for Russia and their five-man back line, and Spain were happy to kick the ball around outside the Russian area, also not threatening at all from Diego Costa or others.

Dzyuba converted from the spot and it proved to be a costly mistake from the Barcelona defender as the rest of the match turned into defense versus attack with Russia's defenders, ultimately, coming out on top.

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