Russian Federation stun Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarter-finals

02 July, 2018, 06:54 | Author: Raquel Nash
  • FIFA World Cup 2018 schedule of Round of 16 matches quarterfinals semifinals third place and final

Spain have only themselves to blame for they never should have allowed this game to go into the Russian roulette of penalties. Crowds at home went especially insane after Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic nailed his penalty shot into the left corner off his right foot, securing his nation's place in the final eight.

Former finalists England, who played their one final when they won the title in 1966, and Sweden, who lost to Brazil on home soil in the 1958 final, are still in the half of the draw vacated by the 2010 champions after their loss to the hosts.

Spain's World Cup roller-coaster ride finally ground to a halt on Sunday and the finger-pointing began after their third consecutive failure at a major tournament.

Koke and Iago Aspas then both failed in the shoot-out, marking a disappointing end to the midfielder's glorious Spain career.

The 34-year-old was a vital cog in the Spanish machine as they dominated world football across a period of six years, winning two European Championships and securing a World Cup triumph in 2010.

Of the starting eleven against Russian Federation, only Marco Asensio will be younger than 30 by the time the next World Cup comes around.

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"Let us say this openly, they are better than us in many ways, " he said. Instead, Artem Dzyuba levelled the scores from the penalty spot before half-time as La Roja were continually frustrated in their attempts to break down the hosts' well-manned rearguard.

"We could not do more - we gave everything".

Tick-tock, the time may be up for tiki taka. Hernandez is 38 and left the national team after Spain's first-round elimination in 2014.

"The important thing is to get back to successful ways, which isn't always an easy thing to do".

The unexpected success of the national team has been a political boon for Putin, but the president has only attended Russia's opening FIFA World Cup match. The team did everything possible to try and prove ourselves again.

Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were both guilty, the latter because of a handball that gave Russian Federation their equaliser, but De Gea left as the principal villain. Spain's identity is recognisable, " Hierro said.

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