'That’s life' says Iniesta after Spain farewell ends in defeat

World Cup 2018 Bring On Brazil World Cup Fever Grips Disbelieving Russia

World Cup 2018 Bring On Brazil World Cup Fever Grips Disbelieving Russia

Spain stopped Russia's European Championship run in 2008 - the country's best tournament performance since the end of the Soviet Union - and also played to a 3-3 friendly draw previous year, though one in which Spain didn't field a full-strength team.

"We're hosting a fantastic tournament", Akinfeev said.

Russian Federation shockingly eliminated Spain from the World Cup, surviving two hours of dominance by the 2010 champions in a 1-1 draw, and then winning a penalty shootout 4-3.

Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev declined to take any credit for seeing his side through to the World Cup quarterfinals after beating Spain on penalties, insisting the hosts "were lucky, that's it". The Atletico Madrid midfielder lifted his shirt over his eyes in dismay.

It is unclear if interim coach Fernando Hierro will continue in a job he did not seek before Julen Lopetegui was sent home. Lopetegui was sacked because he didn't tell Spain's soccer leaders he accepted an offer to coach Real Madrid after the tournament.

The hosts stuck to what you might call a "stubborn" game plan against the 2010 champions, packing their defensive and watched on from a distance as Spain amassed thousands of completed passes in the middle third - patient, attritional and superior in their minds; completely ineffective in reality.

Defeat Sunday likely spells the end of Andres Iniesta's career. The 34-year-old Barcelona midfielder came off the bench and nearly won the game with an 85th-minute shot well saved by Akinfeev. Iniesta also scored the first spot-kick of the shootout.

Russian Federation hit back against the run of play when Gerard Pique needlessly stuck his hand in the air and handled an Artem Dzyuba header.

The early exit of Spain has drawn comparisons into their heartbreaking elimination in the 2002 World Cup, wherein they suffered a quarterfinal loss to South Korea via a penalty shoot-out. A free-kick from the right was heading for Sergio Ramos, but Russian defender Ignashevich was focused on grappling with the Spain skipper and ignored the ball, which bounced off his heel and went into the far corner of the net.

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Iniesta almost stole the win for Spain right at the end as well, when he struck a really nice shot from outside the area, but Akinfeev got down in the nick of time, preventing the ball from hitting the bottom corner.

Dzyuba calmly sent De Gea the wrong with his penalty to join Cheryshev on a team-leading three goals.

"There were some feelings flashing up in your feet or your head, that it could be Spain for us", Dmitry Cheryshev said Saturday.

"We believed that order, discipline and dedication can beat class".

Spain have no injury concerns but are expected to make changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Morocco in their final group game.

Since the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes of regulation time, the issue rolled into overtime.

Spain 1-1 Russia: Fedor Smolov's powerful shot went straight into the goal.

After 120 minutes of football and with the teams tied 1-1, referee Bjorn Kuipers from the Netherlands whistled for penalties. Russia, by comparison, scored all four of their efforts.

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