Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who saved two penalties and was named the Man of the Match, had "one of his best games", Anokhin added.
Everyone inside the Luzhniki Stadium, and all those watching at home, held their breath as the referee and the VAR team checked footage for holding on Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos late on in extra time. Do Spain have reason to be upset?
Asensio, who made two brief substitute appearances in the group stage, whipped in dangerously to the far post where the ball looped in off an unsighted Ignashevich as he tussled with Ramos.
12' GOAL! Spain 1-0 Russia: Spain have taken the lead! It was a handball from Pique! Spain will be wary of the threat posed by Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin, who have scored six of Russia's eight goals and produced three assists. They have been second best in this first half, but they are back on level terms.
It may have been a dry 120 minutes but there was high drama in the shootout for the 78,000 spectators at Luzhniki Stadium, with all four Russian penalty-takers keeping their cool and Muscovite Akinfeev doing well to deny Koke's effort.
Fernando Hierro's charges continued their dominance after 20 minutes but they could not get through the hosts' defence in open play.
Iniesta almost got the victor for Spain in the closing stages with a half-volley from outside the box but goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made a good save.
Dzubya stepped up to blast nervelessly past David De Gea and level the match after 41 minutes, and there was still time for Isco to see a shot blocked and Diego Costa to force Akinfeev into action from an Isco cross.
Stanislav Cherchesov's men started to get out of their defensive shell towards half-an-hour but they could not get beyond just hovering outside the Spain's box. Controversial decision by the officials.
Akinfeev saved Koke's penalty to give Russian Federation the advantage.
It was Nacho, in for Dani Carvajal at right-back, who won the free-kick that led to Spain taking the lead as he was caught by Yury Zhirkov to the right of the penalty area. "Yes, he always made little mistakes, but I think he still has time to write his name into history", former Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn said about Igor Akinfeev when asked about Akinfeev's chances in the FIFA World Cup 2018.