2018 World Cup
Result: Spain 1 (3) - (4)1 Russia
Date: 01 July 2018
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium
Another big side were sent crashing out of the 2018 World Cup after Spain suffered a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to tournament hosts Russia on Sunday.
Spain were dominating possession in the first 10 minutes of the encounter but they were prevented from creating clear chances by a robust Russia defence.
However, La Roja quickly grabbed the lead in the 12th minute through an own goal by Sergei Ignashevich after the defender got the last touch following a set-piece by Marco Asensio.
Fernando Hierro’s charges continued their dominance after 20 minutes but they could not get through the hosts’ defence in open play.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s men started to get out of their defensive shell towards half-an-hour but they could not get beyond just hovering outside Spain’s box.
However, Russia got a penalty five minutes before the break when Gerard Piquè was penalised for a raised arm, and Artem Dzyuba stepped up to equalise from the spot, 1-1.
La Roja were desperate for an early goal in the second stanza, pressurising the tournament hosts but they were repelled over and over.
Russia were defending deep in their own half and gave La Roja too much space to pick out their passes, although they limited their opponents to shots from outside the box.
The 2010 champions were still struggling to get through the Russia defence with a quarter of an hour remaining, even with the introduction of Andres Iniesta and Iago Aspas,
Iniesta nearly got the winner for Spain in the closing stages with a half-volley from outside the box but goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made a good save.
There was no denying extra-time in the end as the two sides could not be separated.
Neither side could carve out clear-cut openings in either of the two added halves, despite Spain's dominance, which forced the clash into a penalty shoot-out.
However, it was the hosts who held their nerve to triumph in the shoot-out and progress to the quarterfinals after two saves from Akinfeev.