Cheryshev cherishes 2nd bite at cherry, Latest Football News

The in-form man for Spain

The in-form man for Spain

This impressive goalkeeping career ultimately earned him the honour of captaining his national team for the first World Cup on his home turf.

"He was a hero tonight", Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.

A deep corner was met by Dzyuba, whose header struck the outstretched arm of Pique, with referee Bjorn Kuipers contemplating his decision before pointing to the spot. Russian Federation had the third-greatest upset by differential since the FIFA rankings started in 1992, behind Nigeria's win over France in 1998 and South Africa's victory over France in 2010, both in the group stage. Spain's then-coach, Julen Lopetegui, was sacked two days before this year's World Cup after agreeing to take the Real Madrid job, and Fernando Hierro stepped in to take charge.

The second half was similarly tiresome, with Spain playing at walking pace as the minutes ticked away and a meagre smattering of chances went begging.

Dzyuba hit the spot kick hard to David de Gea's right as the Spanish goalkeeper dived the wrong way. And so penalties would come into play as the way of finding a victor.

Pique followed suit Iniesta's shot with a score of his own before Sergey Ignashevich tied the count at 2-all.

The 2010 world champion controlled the game with its slick passing but failed to add to its lead as the Russians defended with discipline.

Spain took the lead in the 12th minute when Isco whipped in a free kick from the right and Ignashevich appeared to drag Sergio Ramos to the ground as he inadvertently sent the ball into the net with his heel.

The king heads FIFA's list of VIP guests for the round of 16 game, which also includes Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

At the height of the Cold War, Spain beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in the 1964 European Championship final, a game which took on extra symbolism as a battle between the Soviets and Spain's staunchly anti-communist dictatorship under Francisco Franco.

This will be the sixth World Cup match for the 43-year-old former math teacher from Beachwood, New Jersey, and the third at this tournament.

The two sides met in a friendly last November, a game which ended in a frantic 3-3 draw, although many things have changed since then, particularly after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the tournament, replaced by Fernando Hierro.

Russia's been a sleeping giant in football for decades, but Sunday it showed signs of that promise. Yuri Zhirkov was also recalled to the left-side of defence while Daler Kuzyaev and Golovin returned to the midfield. Denis Cheryshev, Aleksandr Golovin, Sergei Ignashevich and Fedor Smolov converted each of Russia's four efforts from the spot.

In the end he needed only four after Akinfeev's heroics completed one of the all-time great World Cup backs-to-the-wall performances and sent Russian Federation into the quarter-finals.

Now our team will play the victor of Croatia - Denmark, it will be determined tonight at the match in Nizhny Novgorod.

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