Russian Federation boss 'persuaded' team to switch up for Spain

Russian Federation boss 'persuaded' team to switch up for Spain

In fact, Spain needed a freaky own goal by the otherwise excellent Sergei Ignashevich to open the scoring, while Russia's equaliser was another penalty, this time a 41st-minute effort by Artem Dzyuba.

Once Spain took the lead in the 11th minute, however, Sergei Ignashevich turning a Marco Asensio free-kick into his own net under heavy pressure from Sergio Ramos, it was hard to see a way back into the game for the hosts.

Argentina held the previous record of 703 successful passes in a World Cup match against Greece in 2010, although Opta has only collected this data since 1966.

Russia's defender Ilja Kutepov (centre) vies with Spain's midfielder Isco during their 2018 World Cup round of 16 match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 1, 2018.

Just hours after the hosts had sealed their place in the last eight on spot-kicks, Croatia followed suit in Nizhny Novgorod as the last-16 round continued to thrill, Rakitic holding his nerve after Nicolai Jorgensen saw his effort saved.

The heavens opened up with five minutes left on the clock to add to the drama, which would be decided on penalties. Dismissed as no-hopers little over a fortnight ago, Russian Federation will try to get back onboard a wave of national euphoria and pull off what striker Artem Dzyuba called a "minor miracle".

Spain and Russian Federation used their three allowed substitutions in regulation.

Ronaldo can’t beat Uruguay on his own - Portugal coach
However, they have lost their last three games in the World Cup knockout stages (one goal scored, five conceded). The squad is fully fit and nobody is suspended, but boss Fernando Santos has some big decisions to make.

But it didn't matter, Denis Cheryshev scored Russia's fourth before Iago Aspas' spotkick was again saved by Akinfeev, sending Spain packing.

Russian Federation equalized in the 41st minute from the spot, after Gerard Pique handled in the box.

Aleksandr Golovin - 6 - Russia's most creative outlet during the match, and other than Dzyuba, he was the host's greatest threat in the final third. Artem Dzyuba then converted a penalty three minutes before the break to pull the tournament hosts level at half-time.

Hierro's choice was risky given his lack of coaching experience - just one season in charge of second division Oviedo - but he was reluctant to reflect on Spain's chaotic start to the tournament.

Yuri Zhirkov - 4 - A sluggish challenge on Nacho led to the opening goal for Spain, and the former Chelsea full-bak exhausted as the match went on before coming off at half-time.

Nearly 20 minutes into the second half, Russian Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov opted for a reshuffle in the squad sending in midfielder Denis Cheryshev in place of Alexander Samedov.

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