Russia midfielder Daler Kuzyaev said Sunday that his team "showed their mettle" by coming from a goal down to beat Spain on penalties in the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Russia fell behind after 11 minutes through Sergei Ignashevich's own goal but equalized courtesy of Artem Dzyuba's penalty late in the first half before eventually edging out the 2010 World Cup winners in a penalty shootout.
"Of course, we understood that the Spaniards would control the ball as they dominate possession against any opponent. That's why we played the waiting game. Crucially, we didn't give up after conceding the goal and showed our mettle," Kuzyaev told journalists.
The 25-year-old Zenit St. Petersburg player also said that it was "fantastic" that Russia reached the quarter-finals.
"A very tough match is up next for us but we'll be fully ready for it," Kuzyaev added.