Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Spain fall victim to own patience and Russian resistance

Spain fall victim to own patience and Russian resistance

Hosts Russia take on Spain in the third Round of 16 tie of Fifa World Cup 2018 in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow on Sunday, July 1. "So I don't believe that we should risk going forward".

He saved two kicks in the shootout and kept Spain scoreless for the last 108 minutes of play despite Russian Federation having possession just 25 per cent of the time.

The next two shots by Russian Federation were converted into goals by Golovin and Cheryshev, while Ramos chipped one past the goal line to get the scoreline struck at 4-3, with one shot left for each team.

"I think Paris St Germain is very well represented (at the World Cup), but now we are talking about the Brazilian national team and I think our team is very balanced". Russian Federation spent nearly the entirety of extra time defending, but held firm to earn a shootout - with a dream, dream ending for the hosts.

Spain can not afford any individual errors at the back, but you would trust the experienced players to raise the level of their game in the World Cup knockouts stage.

Despite 75 percent possession, Spain's famed tiki-taka passing game rarely carried them into the box and they had to wait until the 85th minute to test Akinfeev with a low drive from substitute Andres Iniesta.

They will now have growing confidence of progressing further in an open half of the draw in which one of Russia, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, England and Colombia are guaranteed to make the final.

Both teams will be fighting to book their place in the quarter-finals, but it will be a hard game for each side as Spain has a lot of top class players, while Russian Federation has the advantage of the hosts.

"We came here with lots of ambition so we empathise with the fans here and at home".

Spain, despite a chaotic build-up to the tournament in which coach Julen Lopetegu was sacked and replaced by Fernando Hierro on the eve of the tournament, had shown enough in the group stage to suggest they were still contenders.

Minutes later, Spain were baying for VAR after more wrestling in the box in what was to be the last of the action before the final whistle and penalties.

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. Koke blazed over and Marco Asensio shot straight at Akinfeev after being played into space by Aspas. "If anyone needs to shoulder this responsibility it's me", said the former Real Madrid captain.

The Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has described the game as a "flife or death", and that he can "become a God" in front of a rambunctious home-crowd, with a win over Spain.

Stretching every part of his body out into a star shape and diving to his right, Igor Akinfeev flicked out his left foot and kicked the ball high away from danger.

The Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2018 begins this Saturday. Russia, by comparison, scored all four of their efforts.

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