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Sergio Ramos left in tears after Spain crash out of World Cup

02 July, 2018, 09:31 | Author: Delia Walker
  • BP_World

Igor Akinfeev saved two spot-kicks as hosts Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout to reach the World Cup quarter-finals after their last-16 tie had ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero for the hosts, saving efforts from Koke and Iago Aspas.

Sergio Ramos - 6 - A captain's performance during open play, the Real Madrid centre-back was the chief general at the back for Spain, as Russian Federation really failed to threaten other than their penalty kick during the 120 minutes.

Pique scored via the inside of the post and Ignashevish, whose own goal had given Spain the lead, then sent De Gea the wrong way.

Iniesta said he had no complaints about being left on the bench by coach Fernando Hierro, before being brought on during the second half. The second half was played at nearly walking pace, brought very little drama - ditto the first extra time of the tournament - and Fernando Hierro's side paid dearly for their lack of ideas and intensity by exiting 5-3 on penalties in the shootout.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov believes the World Cup hosts' shock victory over title contenders Spain on penalites following a 1-1 draw in the last 16 on Sunday "is only the beginning".

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.

The most wide open World Cup for decades continues to spring surprises with Sunday's elimination of Spain being the latest headline grabber.




Andres Iniesta, the elegant midfielder who was a symbol of Spain's golden generation, retired from global soccer following the team's loss to Russian Federation in a penalty shootout at the World Cup on Sunday. Artem Dzyuba equalised moments before half-time and the scene was set for a nervy second-half. "We didn't play quite the way we wanted but it's hard when you don't have the ball and you spend that much time defending". "We might have attacked more if we only played four at the back or with more forwards but I believe we were victorious because my players stuck to the plan".

"The reality is that this was my last match with the national team", the 34-year-old Iniesta said.

Spain has now failed to win a knockout game at three major tournaments since it won Euro 2012, its third straight major title after Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

"To be a strong team is one thing, but you have to be the best on the pitch". He also ensured the game needed 30 extra minutes with back-to-back diving saves in the 85th to deny substitutes Iniesta and Aspas.

Iniesta, who struggled physically in recent years, converted Spain's first penalty in the shootout with what was his last ever shot at a World Cup.

Spain starting XI: De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Koke, Busquets, Silva, Isco, Asensio, Costa.

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