Russian goalkeeper thanks God for luck against Spain

039;We will not play against 11 men but thousands of fans': Spain's Rodrigo on Russia clash

Akinfeev stopped kicks from Koke and Iago Aspas, while Russia's marksmen scored all four penalties they took. The 32-year-old goalkeeper leapt up, punched the air with both hands and dove into a belly flop cross the rain-soaked turf as teammates raced to him from the halfway line.

The hosts themselves have been enjoying a sensational run in the 2018 World Cup, ensuring progression into the knockout rounds for the first time since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

"I just feel emptied out", Akinfeev said.

A first-half own goal from Sergei Ignashevich gave Spain the lead, but an Artem Dzyuba penalty, awarded after a odd Gerard Pique handball, gave Russian Federation a route back into the game. "Spain can't always be lucky". Russian Federation will face either Croatia or Denmark in the quarter-finals.

Spain joined Argentina, Portugal and Germany among the big guns to have been eliminated from this World Cup, but Iniesta said he believed the future for the Spain team was bright. "I accept the responsibility, I am the head coach". "Today we had to endure, endure and endure everything, go through pain and cramps". "We left our soul in the pitch". Lopetegui was axed by the Spanish federation with the team already in Russia after agreeing a deal to become the Real Madrid coach next season.

Sunday's defeat likely spells the end of Andres Iniesta's national-team career.

Rodrigo almost won it five minutes later, when he beat his man with a dummy, sprinted into the box and fired a shot Akinfeev again did well to save. It was the first match of the tournament to go to penalty kicks.

Spain was more urgent in extra time after being too passive when it dominated the ball in the 90 minutes of regular time.

And it was those two who almost won it for Spain with five minutes to go, when first Iniesta and then Aspas fired shots at Akinfeev's goal - only for the skipper to parry both away.

Spain were attempting to be patient but offered little or nothing in the way of a final pass as an increasingly tight game entered the final 10 minutes of normal time, Costa making way for Aspas in their third change.

They rode that support, and occasionally their luck, to recover from falling behind to a 12th-minute own goal from Sergei Ignashevich. The 38-year-old was marking Sergio Ramos tightly on a free-kick, turned his back to the incoming cross and the ball redirected off his boot and into his own net.

True enough, Gerard Pique was the latest to experience a brain fade when he inexplicably raised his left arm to block Artem Dzyuba's 38th-minute header from Alexander Samedov's corner. Pique's complaints were wasted. "We had great hopes for this World Cup and it was not to be". Spain were favourites to win, but Russian Federation held on till the end.

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

This World Cup has seen 132 goals so far and we've seen some scintillating ones, but we've also had a fair share of "freak" goals.

Russian Federation was represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was on his feet and leaning on a protective barrier to watch the shootout.

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