The 2018 FIFA World Cup has now taken shape as Europe gets six teams at the quarter finals and South America records only two. Russia, Croatia, Sweden, France, England and Belgium are all from Europe with Brazil and Uruguay representing South America.
Spain Shocked by Russia
The 2010 World Champions finally gave up the ghost in the World Cup. They were eliminated by the hosts Russia after penalty shoot outs.
Spain started the game with buoyant confidence when Russia’s Sergey Ignashevich forced an own goal from on the 16th minute.
The hosts employed the use of long balls to cause problems for the Spanish defence. They were finally rewarded with a penalty when the ball finally hit the waving hand of Gerard Pique.
Artem Dzyuba converted the penalty to make it 1-1 for Russia before the break. The second half saw a game of father and son affair as the Russia’s stayed in their own half to defend the passing with consistent pressure from Spain.
All attempts by both sides to win the game within the extra time of 30 minutes also proved futile.
The spot finally decided the winner when Russia won 4-3 on penalties. Koke and Iago Aspas had their kicks saved by Russia captain Igor Akinfeev who was in post for the men in white.
It was to be the last time we would see legend Andres Iniesta Lujan in the Spanish shirt as he announced his retirement shortly after the game. Iniesta scored Spain’s winning goal in South Africa 2010.
Croatia survive Denmark scare
Croatia who came into the second game of the night as leaders of Group D nearly suffered a defeat at the hands of Denmark.
The Danes scored first as early as the first minute through Mathias Jorgensen connection from a throw. That was too short to celebrate when Mario Mandzukic leveled for the Croats in the third minute.
The game became an end to end action as Denmark saw more of the ball and created dangerous scoring chances but failed to convert.
Denmark goal keeper, Kasper Schimichel piled pressure on Croatia when he saved Luka Modric’s penalty during the extra time.
The spot decided the winner once again when Denmark lost 2-3 to Croatia after both goal keepers had been wonderful.
Russia will now face Croatia on Saturday at 6:00 pm GMT.