Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

FPJ's dream XI predictions for Spain vs Russian Federation

"They played to get to penalties from the start".

As the Iberians grew desperate, trying a more direct approach to goal, Iniesta came close - collecting a chested pass from the fellow second-half substitute Iago Aspas - but a diving Akinfeev brilliantly turned away his snapshot from outside the box.

Artem Dzyuba then won a penalty when he rose to meet a corner at the other end, his header being blocked by the arm of Spain defender Gerard Pique.

Rising star Aleksandr Golovin and his Russian teammates face Spain at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with a place in the quarterfinals on the line.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov has reverted back to his favourite 5-3-2 formation, with three central defenders and Artem Dzyuba as the lone forward. Suddenly, Russia are brimming with confidence and Spain look patchy at best.

Sid Lowe's match report from the Luzhniki Stadium will follow.

Spain, who have never beaten a host at World Cups or Euros, went ahead after 12 minutes when 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich bundled into Spain captain Sergio Ramos at the far post, knocking a free kick in with his heel for the 10th own goal of the tournament. The referee has awarded a spot kick to the hosts.

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Nearly 20 minutes into the second half, Russian Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov opted for a reshuffle in the squad sending in midfielder Denis Cheryshev in place of Alexander Samedov.

Cherchesov introduced Cheryshev for Alexander Samedov on the hour, a move greeted by a deafening roar from the home support.

Russian Federation were not expected to progress past the group stage but now find themselves alongside France and Uruguay as the first teams to qualify for the last eight.

Aspas carved out an early chance in extra time with a run and cross from the left, but Carvajal was unable to turn it in and then Isco's low centre created another, Ignashevich clearing.

Aspas almost picked out Carvajal with a cut-back seconds into the start of extra time, which saw Aleksandr Erokhin come on as Russia´s fourth sub - the first time the rule has been applied at the World Cup.

Russian Federation endured a tense wait when Kuipers was in communication with the video assistant referee following a late tug on Pique in the box, before Akinfeev´s shootout heroics clinched an unforgettable triumph.

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