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Sunday, 1st July, 2018

Spain 1 – 1 Russia – Spain Out Of Tee World Cup On Penalties!

Spain out of the World Cup 2018, losing on penalties to Russia 4-3

Spain have been knocked out of the World Cup, losing in the last 16 to hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties, after the game finished 1-1 after extra time.

The match was all Spain over the 120 minutes, with over 1000 passes and all the possession, with Russia reduced to counter attack breaks and defending. Russia started the game with a flat back 5, a system which was incredibly difficult for Spain to break through for the whole game.

The first Spain goal came from a free kick awarded to Nacho, with Marco Asensio playing the ball in, Sergio Ramos was looking to win it, but Ignashevich had no eyes on the ball and was fouling Ramos, unlucky for him the ball hit his foot and went into the goal, Spain led 1-0.

Russia then got an equaliser from a penalty through Dzyuba. A corner came in, Gerard Pique went up to head the ball and had his arm hanging high, when the ball hit it, the referee awarded Russia a penalty, which was scored.

Then for almost all of the game, Spain passed it around, creating few chances, and not showing a huge threat at goal. They did get one or two chances, but could not convert them.

In the 2nd half of extra time both Ramos and Pique were pulled to the ground, and the referee went to VAR. These kinds of things have been awards as penalties throughout this World Cup, but the referee decided to listen to the VAR and not go to a screen himself, and decided he’d take no action.

The match went to penalties, with Koke the first to miss for Spain, Russia scored all of their spot kicks and it fell to Iago Aspas to keep Spain in it. Akinfeev saved his penalty, and won the game for Russia, 4-3 on penalties who advance to the Quarter Finals.

Spain should have had the game won in 90 minutes, and then in the 30 minutes of extra time, but could not unlock the Russia defence. Iniesta came on as he didn’t start, but even he couldn’t find his way through Russia to get the winning goal.

Spain 1 – 1 Russia (Russia win 4-3 on penalties after extra time)

Ignashevich (12′ og) | Dzyuba (41′ minutes pen)

Penalties

Iniesta (GOAL)
Smolov (GOAL)
Pique (GOAL)
Ignashevich (GOAL)
Koke (MISS)
Golovin (GOAL)
Ramos (GOAL)
Cheryshev (GOAL)
Iago Aspas (MISS)

Spain Team vs Russia

De Gea
Nacho (Carvajal 70′)
Piqué
Ramos
Alba
Koke
Busquets
Asensio (Rodrigo 104′)
Silva (Iniestaat 67′)
Isco
Diego Costa (Iago Aspas 80′)

World Cup 2018 Verdict For Spain

Spain entered the World Cup in turmoil, with manager Lopetegui announcing his decision to join Real Madrid, then getting sacked and replaced with Hierro only 48 hours before the first game. Spain drew the first game 3-3 with Portugal and looked to play with a lot of confidence scoring 3 goals. They beat Iran 1-0 in the second and drew with Morocco in the third 2-2, not looking their best in their passing play, defence or putting the ball in the back of the net.

It was strange to see so many changes in the starting 11. The first game started with Koke, with Vasquez playing in the second, Thiago playing in the 3rd and then finally against Russia Koke starting again, with Iniesta being dropped for Asensio in the final game too. It shows that there isn’t that usual starting 11 for Spain, with positions up for grabs, especially in the midfield where Spain usually dominate. Rotating these players who are all different looked to have had a negative impact on the play.

It wasn’t an absolute disaster it could have been, but Spain will have expected better, we all expected better. With the way the draw has fallen this was a golden opportunity for Spain to reach at least the semi-final, and then from there you never know what’s going to happen.

Spain have definitely under-performed at this World Cup, a step forward from last time, but the semi-final was surely the target going into the last 16 stage. It is now the end for Spain at this World Cup, and sadly it will be the end of the road for some players, who’ll not make it to the next World Cup. Isco was the shining light for Spain, not only the best for the team, but one of the best at the World Cup in 2018.



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