Russia are through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after the game with Spain finished 1-1 after extra-time – Igor Akinfeev denied Koke and Iago Aspas to help his side win 4-3 on penalties.
Spain dominated the game and took the lead in the 11th minute. A free-kick swung in at the back post, saw defender Sergei Ignashevich flick the ball off his heel while battling with Sergio Ramos, turning it into his own net.
It looked ominous for Russia as they struggled to get a foothold in the match. They were rewarded with a spot-kick after Pique blocked Dzyuba’s header with his arm and it gave the chance for Russia to get back on level, four minutes before half-time. Dzyuba stepped up himself and effortlessly finished to make it 1-1.
The possession game for Spain didn’t have much potency as sideways passing became the theme until the end of extra-time. Denis Cheryshev tucked away his penalty to transfer the spotlight onto Iago Aspas to keep Spain in the competition. Akinfeev dived past the ball but stretched to toe-poke away to make it one of the most shocking victories in World Cup history.
Here are our ratings for Russia from their historic World Cup victory over Spain.
Igor Akinfeev - 9
Heroic. Made an brilliant double save from Iniesta and Aspas. Then came the penalty shootout; denying Koke and Aspas once again. No doubt about going down in Russian folklore.
Mario Fernandes - 7.5
Solid at right wing-back. Defended when needed and supported the counter-attack. Very valuable member of the team.
Ilya Kutepov - 7.5
Header after header; getting it clear from the danger area. The better centre-back than his partners Ignashevich and Kudryashov. Booked.
Sergei Ignashevich - 5.5
Was more interested in grappling with Ramos instead of going for the ball. Did the same thing in the Uruguay game by grabbing the players from the wall. His blushes were saved by Dzyuba’s equalizer and he redeemed himself by scoring his penalty.
Fedor Kudryashov - 6
Decent at clearing the ball. His main objective was getting it as far away as possible from his goal. Suffered badly with cramp.
Yuri Zhirkov - 7
Used all of his experience in combating Asensio. For a converted left-back late in his career, he’s holding firm in that role. Subbed (46 minutes).
Daler Kuzyaev - 6
Dropped deeper – even into his own box – to help out the centre-backs. Lacked the quality going forward when Russia managed to retain the ball. (Subbed 97 minute)
Roman Zobnin - 7
Did his job well by disrupting some Spanish moves in the middle. Aged 24, can be counted as a leader in the making. Booked.
Aleksandr Samedov - 6
Lacks the stamina to keep up, especially when Spain were in control of the game. Still the set-piece taker, despite his awry deliveries. Did manage to finally connect with Dzyuba, leading to the Russian penalty. Subbed (61 minutes).
Aleksandr Golovin - 6.5
Lost his footing in key areas, most notably inside the Spain box. Smashed his penalty past De Gea.
Artem Dzyuba - 7.5
Cut a lone figure up top for Russia. When they needed him the most he came up with the goods. Slotted home the equalising goal with ease. Got swamped in the second-half. Subbed (65 minutes).
(SUB) Vladimir Granat - 6
Picked up where Zhirkov left off. Good impact sub.
(SUB) Denis Cheryshev - 6
Came on after an hour and tried his best to close down the Spanish contingent. Stepped up confidently for his penalty.
(SUB) Fedor Smolov - 5
Gave the ball away cheaply on a few occasions. Could’ve held up the ball better. Converted his penalty.
(SUB) Aleksandr Erokhin - 5
Historic appearance, as it was the first fourth substitution made in a game.