Spain vs Russia (FIFA World Cup 2018 LIVE COMMENTARY)

This is the 51st match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 holding in Moscow, Russia.

Date & Time of Match:
Sunday, July 1, at 3pm
Spain and Russia will slug it out in the Round of 16.

___SCORE: Spain 1-1 Russia  (RUSSIA WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES)___



MISS! Aspas steps up knowing that he has to score. Akinfeev produces a brilliant save with his feet to deny the forward. It was straight down the middle and the keeper stuck out a hopeful boot to make the stop. Russia are through to the quarter-finals.
Cheryshev holds his nerve from the spot as he curls his effort into the net, sending De Gea the wrong way. 3-4.
Ramos needs to score. He does striking his effort into the net. 3-3.
Golovin steps forward and he goes for power blasting his effort in the middle of the goal. 2-3.
MISS! Koke becomes the first man to miss from the spot as Akinfeev gets down to make the stop. 2-2.
Ignashevich goes for the stutter step run up and he makes no mistake, converting his strike. 2-2.
Pique steps forward for Spain. He goes low with his strike and it finds the net with the aid of the post. 2-1.
Smolov fires his effort hard at goal and it needs it. De Gea gets a hand to the ball, but he cannot keep it out. 1-1.
Iniesta holds his nerve to slot his effort into the bottom corner. 1-0.
Spain are first up from the spot.
We’re heading to penalties as Russia have held Spain at bay with brilliance at the back. It’s now a test of composure from the spot.
120′ + 1′ Rodrigo has space to turn on the edge of the box to fire at goal, but he places his effort straight at Akinfeev.
120′ There will be one minute of added time.
120′ Fernandes does well at the back to fend off an attempt by Alba to break behind. We’re almost at spot-kicks.
119′ Rain is coming down at the Luzhniki Stadium making life very difficult on the pitch. Spain are trying to work their way through the middle, but Russia are holding firm.
118′ Golovin’s delivery is flicked on into the box, but is evades everyone in the area. Smolov attempts to keep the attack alive, only to see his cross cleared with ease.

117′ Smolov takes the ball to the corner and wins a set-piece for his team.
116′ Busquets takes a huge gamble in the box as he loses possession to Erokhin, but the midfielder cannot pick out a team-mate.
115′ Pique and Ramos are claiming a penalty from Koke’s free-kick as the Barcelona defender is fouled by Ignashevich. However, the referee and VAR do not agree with the Spain players. That is a big call.
114′ Ignashevich takes Isco out on the flank as he’s caught out of position. Russia have to deal with another free-kick from Koke.

115′ Pique and Ramos are claiming a penalty from Koke’s free-kick as the Barcelona defender is fouled by Ignashevich. However, the referee and VAR do not agree with the Spain players. That is a big call.
114′ Ignashevich takes Isco out on the flank as he’s caught out of position. Russia have to deal with another free-kick from Koke.

113′ All hands on deck for Russia at the back. Spain are putting all kinds of pressure on their defence now. Runs from deep are beginning to become effective from La Roja.
112′ Iniesta looks for the offload into the feet of Aspas in the box, but he cannot take the pass in stride to waste the opening.
111′ Ignashevich wastes an opportunity to put Spain under pressure from a free-kick as he floats a long ball forward out of play for a goal-kick.
109′ SAVE! Rodrigo turns his man with ease on the half-way line and surges into the left inside channel. He goes to curl his effort beyond Akinfeev, but the keeper makes a brilliant save. The rebound falls to Carvajal who strikes at goal, although Kutepov is on hand to make the intervention on the slide.

97′ Kuzyaev has worked extremely hard this afternoon. He makes way for the fresh legs of Erokhin, who becomes the first fourth substitute to be used at the World Cup.
97′ Koke’s patience runs out on the edge of the box as he goes for the strike, only to hammer his effort over the bar.
96′ La Roja are encamped in the Russia half looking for the killer pass to open up the defensive line. It’s solid work from Russia.
95′ Isco tries to carve out space for a cross into the box. He puts it into a dangerous area, but Ignashevich greets the delivery with a big boot downfield.
94′ It’s the same pattern as normal time as Spain are dominating possession, with a white line of shirts holding firm on the edge of their box.
92′ Aspas breaks behind the Russia defensive line and he forces a low cross into the box, but Kutepov gets ahead of Carvajal, who almost manages to steer an effort towards goal. Russia clear the danger, although that was a close call.
91′ We’re back underway in the Luzhniki Stadium.

91′ We’re back underway in the Luzhniki Stadium.
Russia have been made to work hard at the back and it appeared to be taking its toll towards the end of normal time. Sergei Ignashevich amd Ilya Kutepov were both stretching their legs, which could play a factor as we head into additional time.
For the first time of the 2018 World Cup we’re heading to extra-time. Russia have been brilliant at the back, fending off Spain’s desperate attempts to find a winner. Andres Iniesta came closest to getting a second goal for La Roja, but he was denied by Igor Akinfeev. Russia have had their moments on the break, but did not capitalise on a couple of good openings.

88′ Cheryshev brings down Isco on the right flank. The midfielder takes the resulting free-kick himself, but sees his cross diverted behind for a corner.
87′ Smolov has space on the break to attack through the middle, but he chooses the wrong pass and allows Spain to recover.
85′ SAVE! Iniesta latches on to a loose ball on the edge of the box. He sends a stinging effort towards goal on the half-volley, but Akinfeev makes a smart stop. Aspas goes for the follow-up, but he hammers his attempt across the face of goal from a tight angle.
84′ Iniesta attempts to combine with Aspas on the edge of the box. Russia flood men back and hack the ball into touch. Iniesta is asking questions late in the game.
83′ Iniesta makes a surge into the left inside channel, but Fernandes covers back well to block off his run.
82′ Busquets misses his kick from Isco’s delivery from the corner. There’s a slight moment of confusion as the referee considers a VAR decision, but it’s over in an instant.
81′ Aspas makes a run towards the left inside channel to latch on to Iniesta’s pass, but Kutepov on the slide sends it behind for a corner.
80′ A surprising decision as Hierro replaces Costa with Aspas.
79′ Patience from Spain once again as they work the ball across Russia’s half, attempting to stretch the defence. However, once again the host nation hold firm in their defences.
77′ Russia attempt to break down the right through Golovin, but he cannot take an offload from Cheryshev in stride and the opening is spurned.
75′ Iniesta and Costa attempt to combine in the final third, but the midfielder fails to take Costa’s return pass in stride.
74′ Isco swings the ball into the box, but the white shirts are back in numbers and Kudryashov is able to make an important clearance ahead of Costa.
73′ Ignashevich miscues a simple clearance at the back, slicing his attempt behind for a Spain corner.
71′ Zobnin catches Alba with a late challenge and goes into the book.
70′ Nacho is withdrawn with an injury as Carvajal enters the pitch.
69′ Spain build from the back and knock the ball around the Russia half, but the host nation sit back and asborb the presssure. La Roja have to be more creative.
67′ Iniesta enters the action with 23 minutes left of normal time. Silva is the man to make way from the midfield.
66′ Russia break with pace down the right and Golovin goes on a surge into the inside channel. However, he loses his footing before he can fire a low ball across the face of goal, allowing Spain to clear from a goal-kick.
65′ Dzyuba makes way for the fresh legs of Smolov.
64′ Alba looks for the run of Costa in the final third, but the striker is caught offside. Costa has been isolated this afternoon.
63′ Fernandes tries to get the better of Ramos down the right flank and he wins a free-kick for his team, much to the bemusement of Ramos.
61′ Cheryshev enters the action to provide an attacking threat for Russia in place of Samedov.
60′ Nacho swings a cross into the box and Silva makes a late run to attempt to latch on to the ball. He heads the ball wide of the post away from his team-mate, lurking behind him.
59′ BLOCK! Costa works the ball into Isco on the charge in the left inside channel. He opts not to shoot on his right foot and instead pulls it down for an effort on his left. However, white shirts flood across to the near post to make the block.
58′ Samedov fails to whip a quality cross into the box, allowing La Roja to clear their lines. Golovin then handles as he makes a sliding challenge on Koke.
57′ Fernandes battles down the right flank once again to beat Alba in the air. Ramos goes down in his attempt to clear under pressure from Samedov, allowing Russia to win a corner.
55′ Russia are able to clear their lines from a delivery from Isco. The host nation are holding firm at the back.
54′ Kutepov goes into the book for his late challenge on Isco.
54′ Kutepov is loose with his challenge on Isco down the left flank and he hands Spain a free-kick in a dangerous position.
53′ Asensio lifts a dangerous cross to the back post from the right flank, but Isco is unable to muster an effort on target.
51′ OVER! Koke swings his delivery into the box and Costa rises to head at goal, but he sends his effort harmlessly over the bar.
50′ Nacho is brought down on the right flank by Golovin and the referee awards a free-kick to La Roja that will be taken by Koke.
49′ Spain attempt to build a rhythm from the back once again, using patience in possession.
47′ Alba latches on to a loose ball in the box, but he cannot make solid contact, using his thigh to guide his effort goalwards. Akinfeev gets down to make the stop.
46′ Ramos makes an early mistake as he is closed down at the back. Fortunately for the defender, Golovin cannot find room for a strike as La Roja flood men back on the edge of their own box.
46′ We’re back underway at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Fernando Hierro will be concerned by his side’s inability to break down the Russia defence. Other than an effort from Diego Costa at the end of the half, they failed to test Igor Akinfeev. That will have to change for La Roja to claim their place in the quarter-final as the host nation are more than capable of battling to end.
It’s all square at the Luzhniki Stadium between Spain and Russia. The host nation will be delighted with the scoreline at the interval as Artem Dzuyba’s penalty cancelled an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich. La Roja took the lead when Ignashevich inadvertently knocked the ball into his own net when grappling with Sergio Ramos at a free-kick. However, Spain did not build on their lead and were punished before half-time when Gerard Pique handled in the area. Artem Dzuyba held his composure to score from 12 yards, levelling the scores in the round-of-16 clash.
45′ + 2′ Golovin has space on the break and he raids past the challenge of Nacho. However, his cross into the middle is controlled back to De Gea by Ramos.
45′ + 1′ SAVE! Silva releases Costa into the right inside channel, but Akinfeev is sharp off his line to make a vital block from his shot on the slide.

40′ PENALTY TO RUSSIA! Dzuyba wins a header from the resulting corner and the ball strikes the outstretched arm of Pique. The referee has no choice but to point to the spot.
38′ Russia threaten down the right flank as Fernandes knocks the ball inside for Zobnin. The midfielder goes for the cross into the box, forcing Koke to send it behind for a corner.
36′ CHANCE! Russia threaten as Dzuyba wins a knockdown allowing Golovin to break forward with Zobnin. The latter weaves his way into the box before sliding a pass out wide for his team-mate. Golovin takes a touch inside before shooting, bending his effort just wide of the post.
35′ Isco looks for the run of Costa in the final third, but Kupetov covers ground well to make the header back to Akinfeev.

25′ Samedov loses his footing and it allows Isco to thread a pass through to Alba in the left inside channel. The Real Madrid man just puts too much pace on his offload to send it out for a goal-kick.
24′ Zobnin makes an important challenge to stop Isco on the counter, although Russia are unable to carve out an opening from the break in the Spain half.
23′ Samedov lifts the ball into the box towards the back post where Dzuyba wins the header to nod it back across goal, but La Roja react to clear the danger.
22′ Ramos nudges Dzuyba as the two collide in the air, handing the host nation with an opportunity to put a cross into the box.
21′ Fernandes battles down the right flank to beat Alba in the air, but Ramos is on hand to clear his lines ahead of Samedov.
19′ Spain are relaxing into a rhythm at the moment as Russia are allowing Isco to pull the strings in the middle of the park. It’s all too easy for La Roja.
17′ Isco weaves his way through a crowd of players on the edge of the box, but Russia get enough men back behind the ball to thwart the midfielder’s surge.
16′ Ignashevich is the oldest ever player to score an own goal at the World Cup (38y 352d).
15′ Pique battles Golovin down the left flank and he wins the ball in his challenge, knocking it off the midfielder to win a goal-kick for his team.
13′ Russia work the ball in the final third and Kuzyaev goes for the strike from distance, only to see his effort sail harmlessly over the bar.
12′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! SPAIN LEAD 1-0!!!! IGNASHEVICH SCORES AN OWN GOAL!!!! La Roja are ahead in the contest as Ignashevich puts the ball into his own net. The delivery from Isco from the free-kick had the Russia defender in all sorts of trouble. He resorted to drag Ramos to the ground at the back. The ball struck his heel in the process of their grappling and from close range it left Akinfeev with no chance to stop it trickling into the net.

11′ Own goal Sergei Ignashevich
11′ It’s a sore one for Nacho as he takes his time to get to his feet.
10′ Nacho makes a run down the right flank to latch on to Isco’s pass. Zhirkov is high with his challenge and the referee awards a free-kick in a good position for La Roja.
8′ David Silva loses possession in the middle of the park. Dzuyba offloads to Golovin, who in turn tries to release Samedov, but his pass goes astray.

7′ La Roja are already flooding men forward into the Russia half, with the host nation sitting deep on the edge of their own box.
6′ Isco tries to work the ball into the penalty area, but Ignashevich holds firm to head away from Costa.
5′ Samedov’s delivery is too high for anyone to make clean contact in the box. Zhirkov collects 30 yards from goal and goes for the strike, only to see his effort blocked.
4′ Golovin surges down the right flank to break away from Ramos and he wins his side a corner off the legs of Pique. A nice burst from the Russia midfielder.

2′ Boos erupt from the Russia fans inside the stadium as Spain build possession from the back.
1′ We’re underway at the Luzhniki Stadium.


The players are out on the pitch for the anthems.
Spain are unbeaten in their last 23 games (W15 D8), the longest current run amongst the 32 teams at the 2018 World Cup. Their last defeat came two years ago against Italy in the round of 16 of the European Championships (0-2, June 2016).
Ramos has now equaled Iker Casillas’ record of 17 games for Spain at the World Cup.
Russia are without Igor Smolnikov due to suspension, which has forced Cherchesov to shuffle his formation for the contest. Fernandes comes into the side to replace Smolnikov, starting at wing-back. Zhirkov is also recalled to start on the left flank, allowing Russia to play with a back three. Kuzyaev and Golovin return in the midfield, while Dzuyba leads the line. Cheryshev, Gazinskiy and Aleksey Miranchuk all drop to the bench.

Hierro makes the biggest call of his tenure to date as he drops Iniesta for the contest. Iniesta created Isco’s goal against Morocco with a weaving run down the left. However, Hierro has replaced the veteran with Asensio down the left flank. Nacho comes into the side to replace Carvajal at right-back, while Koke is preferred to Thiago in the centre of midfield in the other two changes from Spain’s draw last time out.
Russia subs: Andrey Semenov, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinskiy, Alan Dzagoev, Fedor Smolov, Andrey Lunev, Vladimir Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Vladimir Gabulov, Aleksandr Erokhin.

SPAIN (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Koke, Sergio Busquets; David Silva, Isco, Marco Asensio; Diego Costa.
Let’s take a look at the two teams this afternoon, starting with Spain.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia have never beaten Spain (D2 L4). Their last encounter ended 3-3 in a friendly back in November 2017.
Russia were dominant in their opening two matches of the tournament, putting five goals past Saudi Arabia and another three against Egypt. Uruguay exposed them in their final match to finish second in Group A, leaving Stanislav Cherchesov and his team with a huge task on their hands this afternoon to produce a stunning upset. A win for Russia would open up the competition on their side of the draw.
Spain were not at their fluent best during the group stage as they overcame the departure of manager Julen Lopetegui two days before the tournament. Fernando Hierro has kept La Roja on course for a deep run in the competition, although his side needed a late strike from Iago Aspas to avoid defeat to Morocco last time out. Spain will have to put forward a stronger display against the host nation, who will have a tremendous backing this afternoon.
Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup last-16 match between Spain and Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium.


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