Russian Federation goalkeeper says he knew what to expect from Spain's penalty shots

Spain, who have never beaten a host at World Cups or Euros, went ahead after 12 minutes when Sergei Ignashevich bundled into Ramos at the far post, knocking a free kick in with his heel for the 10th own goal of the tournament.

"It's reality that today has been my last match for the national team", he told reporters.

"I had to persuade them this was the only way (against Spain) as they don't like this system", said the coach, whose side also had one shot on target in two hours of football.

The dramatic ending turned goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev into a national hero after a backs-to-the-wall performance in which Russian Federation controlled the ball roughly a quarter of the time. That run was ended days later by a Spain team beginning its era of dominance.

Cherchesov has now written another page of history by becoming just the second Soviet or Russian coach to win a game in the knockout stage of a World Cup.

"We're hosting a fantastic tournament", Akinfeev said.

Akinfeev, who started his professional career by saving a spot kick in his first ever match, then kicked Aspas' penalty high and wide to trigger wild celebrations.

Spain captain Sergio Ramos suggested "instability" following the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui was a factor in the team's poor World Cup performance.

There was little change in the pattern after the break, forcing coach Fernando Hierro to introduce Iniesta. The 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder came off the bench and nearly won the game with an 85th-minute shot well saved by Akinfeev.

Spain was more urgent in extra time after being too passive for 90 minutes.

While Spain dominated the game, it was two crucial saves from Igor Akinfeev in the penalty shootout that mattered most in the end.

In the survey we asked the simple question, 'Who was responsible for Spain's elimination?' Rubiales, president of the RFEF, received 52.5% of the votes (108,752).

Instead, Spain seemed entirely incapable on increasing the pace as, minute by minute, home hopes grew from a long-shot dream, through a gradual realization that their highly-ranked rivals were not actually that unsafe, to eventual delirious celebration.

A victory could see Russian Federation potentially play England in the semi-finals - and then realise Muscovite Glazkova's dream of going up against five-time champions Brazil with the trophy at stake.

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

Dzyuba calmly sent De Gea the wrong with his penalty to join Cheryshev on a team-leading three goals. The king is a soccer fan who, as crown prince, attended the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to see Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.


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