'That's Life' Says Andres Iniesta After Spain Farewell Ends In Defeat

Russia players pose for a team group

Russia players pose for a team group

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said Russia's game plan had been to hold on for a penalty shootout after the host nation beat Spain on spot-kicks on Sunday (Jul 1) to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Russian Federation defeated Spain in the knockout stage of the World Cup, 4-3, on penalty kicks.

Eleven host cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara, were selected to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup.

The midfield maestro, who is also leaving Barcelona to play for Japanese club Vissel Kobe next season, scored 13 global goals in his career, most notably the victor in extra time of the 2010 World Cup final.

"We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened".

Koke and Iago Aspas then both failed in the shoot-out, marking a disappointing end to the midfielder's glorious Spain career.

"We're having a fantastic World Cup".

Russian Federation are into the last eight of the World Cup for the first time in 48 years, since a quarterfinal appearance in Mexico in 1970 as Soviet Union.

"We are going to look for the best for the national team and for the federation", Rubiales said.

"A wonderful period has come to an end".

On a central Moscow square, a street orchestra erupted in a rendition of the Russian anthem as passing cars tooted their horns and men staggered out of a nearby bar waving Russian flags.

In addition to scoring the World Cup's winning goal in 2010, Iniesta had also been key for Spain when it won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships with its tiki-taka style modeled on Barcelona's ball-possession game.

But Putin's decision not to personally attend Russia's first World Cup knockout game in the post-Soviet era fed suspicions that the Kremlin believed the team would lose. "Whenever you are knocked out of a World Cup, it is very painful".

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