A tense knockout fixture was played out between Russia and Spain, with the hosts' grit and defensive resilience beating out the class of Spain in possession.
The 2018 World Cup will be remembered for many great moments, yet one aspect of this tournament that can't be ignored is the amount of goals notched off of penalties and own goals, which has been exceptional to say the least.
Spain’s dominance of possession struggled to break through the Russian defensive effort, except in a moment of sheer horror for Sergei Ignashevich as a cross found his foot and somehow deflected past Igor Akinfeev.
Russia earned a penalty towards the end of the first half through a Gerard Pique handball.
For all of Spain’s possession, it appeared Russia were more likely to found a route towards goal in the remainder of the first half with counter-attacking play. Spain lacked the clinical edge up front to capitalise on all their good build up.
Extra time was ultimately not enough to create any match winning moments, with penalties deciding the fate of the two sides. Russia were the winners following saves by Igor Akinfeev against Koke and Iago Aspas.
David De Gea - 6
Tested on a few occasions, but was mainly kept to recycling possession to his defenders to restart play.
Nacho - 6
Constantly a good outlet for his side in possession and always seemed to play the correct pass. Dani Carvajal being brought on was no doubt a signal of intent for a more attacking approach.
Gerard Pique - 6
Despite reports of a training ground injury prior to the tie, Pique was fit to take his rightful place in the Spanish defence.
Sergio Ramos - 6
No Sergio, that wasn’t your goal. Although the nuisance he caused for Ignashevich was well and truly enough to warrant him being credited with it. Was troubled by Artem Dzubya’s aerial presence throughout his time on the pitch.
Jordi Alba - 7
His pace and capacity to cause problems for the opposition with his runs in behind was in full display against the hosts. Was on the receiving end of some brutish tackles of which he never seemed fazed by.