Andres Iniesta Retires from International Play After Spain's Loss vs. Russian Federation

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea

Russian Federation shockingly eliminated Spain from the World Cup, surviving two hours of dominance by the 2010 champions in a 1-1 draw and then winning a penalty shootout 4-3 on Sunday.

Spain's Koke fails to score by penalty kick during the round of 16 match against Russian Federation in Moscow on July 1, 2018. The 32-year-old captain pulled off two important saves during the penalty shoot-out - which they won 4-3 - to take his team to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time since 1970.

The World Cup's lowest-ranked team now advances to a quarterfinal against Croatia or Denmark in Sochi on Sunday.

Russian Federation are in to the last eight of their own World Cup after a shock win over Spain on penalties.

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"To be a strong team is one thing, but you have to be the best on the pitch".

Pique was next up for the 2010 winners, and he buried his easily into the bottom left corner.

Spain had managed a shutout in each knockout game of their victorious 2010 campaign, including extra-time in the final, and that sequence was broken by Artem Dzyuba's penalty conversion. After 120 uninspired minutes of dreadfully slow soccer, the match headed to penalty kicks. "We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened, thank God", Akinfeev said.

La Furia Roja made a bright start to the second half, with Jordi Alba forcing a sharp save out of Akinfeev from inside the box in the 47th minute, while Costa failed to keep his header down from a free-kick four minutes later.

Cesc Fabregas "speechless" as Spain exit 2018 World Cup
The players have been extraordinary for their effort, their professionalism, their solidarity". "We need our personality". He had said before the tournament started that he would be retiring after the tournament in Russian Federation .

Most of that work, of course, was his predecessor Julen Lopetegui's but he was sacked a day before the World Cup began when he revealed that he would be taking over at Real Madrid next season.

Spain came close to grabbing a victor five minutes from time as a low strike from Iniesta was pushed away by Akinfeev, with the follow up shot dribbling across the face of goal with nobody on hand to apply the finish touch.

Akinfeev's foot kept Russia's party going Sunday night, ended the global career of one of Spain's biggest stars and sealed the biggest upset of the tournament and one of the greatest in World Cup history.

Spain, refusing to give up on its passing game for a more direct approach, continued its drilling of the opposition defence, but Russia's closing down of space left it with few openings to test Igor Akinfeev as the second session started in a similar pace.

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Spain have not lost a match since Euro 2016, although they have looked far from convincing after the chaos that saw coach Julen Lopetegui sacked before their Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 first game.

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