Hosts Russia continue their dream run in the 2018 World Cup by eliminating favourites Spain after penalties to book a quarterfinal spot.
In extraordinary scenes at the Luzhniki Stadium, Russia captain Igor Akinfeev threw out his leg to deny Iago Aspas’s decisive spot-kick and send the packed arena, and entire nation into raptures as they advance to a first ever World Cup quarterfinals.
It looked to be a routine win for Spain when Sergei Ignashevich bundled in Marco Asensio’s free-kick into his own goal in the 12th minute.
But the hosts came back into the tie just before half-time when Gerard Pique was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box following a corner.
Artem Dzuba, whose header was stopped by Pique’s hand, stepped up and sent David de Gea the wrong way for his third goal of the tournament.
Spain continue to dominate proceedings but failed to make their possession count as the game petered out to extra-time and then penalties, where Akinfeev first denied Koke, and then Aspas to give the Russians their biggest ever win.
They’ll now travel to Sochi Saturday to take on the winners of Croatia v Denmark in tonight’s last 16 clash.