Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Cesc Fabregas "speechless" as Spain exit 2018 World Cup

Cesc Fabregas

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero for the home team, saving both the kicks.

Russian Federation will face either Croatia or Denmark, who were meeting later on Sunday, in Sochi on July 7.

The hosts have staged a fine tournament, full of smiles, solyanka and samovars - and a bit of vodka, too. After Denis Cheryshev converted his spot kick, Akinfeev stopped Iago Aspas's effort with his legs to spark mass celebrations in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

It was a shocking elimination for Spain, joining former champions Germany and Argentina.

The home crowd greeted the arrival of extra time as if they had won the World Cup but Spain, seeing several of their rivals dropping to the floor with cramp and exhaustion, were no doubt confident that the hosts would eventually crack if they just kept rolling the ball from side to side.

Spain had 25 shots, nine of which were on frame, but Akinfeev saved them all, only conceded on an unfortunate own goal. The Atletico Madrid midfielder lifted his shirt over his eyes in dismay.

De Gea got close to two penalties in the shootout which saw Spain eliminated by the tournament hosts but he did not appear to be on his game on Sunday afternoon.

"I just feel emptied out", Akinfeev said. They took the lead on 12 minutes through an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich, but Russian Federation equalized from an Artem Dzyuba penalty and kept the Spaniards at bay for the remainder of the game and extra time.

They looked, however, equally toothless up front, with Aleksandr Golovin's curled effort their only noteworthy opportunity until Gerard Pique's handball gave them a chance to level with a penalty in the 42 minute.

Casey set to finally taste Travelers victory
ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee and Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship. He got to see me qualify for the Ryder Cup at this event. "It's absolutely awesome ", Watson said afterwards.

It was the classic "tiki-taka" style that led to a World Cup title in 2010, bookended by a pair of European Championships.

"I put my head on the line to be coach two days before the Portugal match".

"It's painful, there's nothing else we can say", Spain captain Sergio Ramos said.

"This is a great victory for us, for the whole country, the soul of the country", Mikhail Sitner, 34, from Moscow, said.

There was little change in the pattern after the break, forcing coach Fernando Hierro to introduce Iniesta. Lopetegui was sacked because he had failed to tell the national soccer federation he accepted an offer to coach Real Madrid after the tournament.

Previous defeats by Spain, and the fact his side had played with 10 for much of their last game against Uruguay, convinced boss Cherchesov to pick a 5-3-1-1 formation in the hope that discretion really is the better part of valour. "They are two different things", said the 54-year-old.

His despair was therefore understandable when he missed a penalty 3 minutes from the end of extra-time that could have cost Croatia a place in the last eight.

Russian Federation received the backing of president Vladimir Putin before their World Cup last-16 victory over Spain. A crude foul from Zhirkov allowed Asensio to whip in a risky free kick and in the process of trying to wrestle Sergio Ramos to the ground, Sergei Ignashevich inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net.

Russian Federation hit back just before the interval as Artem Dzyuba nervelessly converted a penalty awarded for a handball by Gerard Pique.

Like this: