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Wins after 52 years: Russia pulled off biggest shock of 2018 World Cup

Hosts Russia pulled off the biggest shock of the 2018 World Cup so far as they beat 2010 winners Spain in the first penalty shootout of the tournament to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 48 years.

After extra-time ended with the score locked at 1-1, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was Russia’s penalty hero, denying Koke and then Iago Aspas to spark scenes of delirious celebration at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

His opposite number, David de Gea, got a hand to the first spot-kick he faced – from Fedor Smolov – but that was the closest he came to making a save as the Russians converted their remaining penalties in clinical fashion.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side, at 70 the lowest ranked team in the competition and 60 places below Spain, now face Croatia in the last eight in Sochi on Saturday.

Their unlikely progress is a reward for their resolute defending for most of the 120 minutes of play and should reflect the part played by their thousands of fans who roared them on throughout their defensive masterclass.

Admittedly there were few signs of the Spanish struggles to come when Sergei Ignashevich inadvertently gave Fernando Hierro’s side a a 12th-minute lead.

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