Match Report :

IBO Reporter: yateleysaint

In a gruelling game at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Russia saw off Spain on penalties. I hope this match isn’t a sign of things to come as it was a hard watch at times.

There were a couple of surprises in the initial team selections as Hierro left out Iniesta in favour of the more mobile Asensio while Russia left out the previously impressive Cheryshev, who came through the academy at Real Madrid and now plays for Villarreal (assuming they let him back in the country after this).

Spain started brightly and the confidence seemed to drain out of Russia, who were reduced to putting in reducers. Zhirkov went in high on Nacho and left him juddering on the ground like he was self-pleasuring. The resulting free-kick saw Ramos tussling with Ignashevich at the far post and the ball ended up in the net. It went down as an own goal, but could have easily been given as a penalty.

You do not want to go a goal down against Spain and Russia seemed to be struggling to keep up. Midway through the first half Spain put together a good move, but Isco foolishly over-played a no-look pass and it ran out of play ahead of Alba.

Russia showed impressive resolve by coming back into the match. Ten minutes before half-time Golovin attempted a curling shot but put it just wide of De Gea’s left-hand post. A few minutes later the pressure told and Pique conceded a penalty which was put away by Dzyuba. Just before half-time Costa had a couple of half-chances and Russia broke forward but Golovin couldn’t find Dzyuba in the middle.

At half-time Granat came on for Zhirkov (who had fouled Nacho for the crucial free kick). Spain started at a high tempo and Alba tried to thigh it in but it was a comfortable save for Akinfeev

On fifty-three minutes Little “ Isco” Redknapp broke away after a good move, but was held back and his opponent was booked. The game then petered out as Spain continuously played the ball around, without upsetting Russia’s massed ranks of defenders. Personnel changes didn’t seem to upset the balance of play and it felt like watching Barcelona (minus Messi) playing a struggling side in La Liga.

Cheryshev came on after an hour, followed by Smolov shortly afterwards. Iniesta replaced David Silva (who was largely anonymous) and then Nacho came off for Carvajal. After 83 minutes a graphic flashed up on screen showing that Spain had had 700 passes and 74% possession. What a pity they couldn’t do anything with it.

With a few minutes to go Iniesta hit a low shot, which was saved by Akinfeev and after 92 minutes Smolov shot wide but extra time seemed inevitable. More changes followed but the only one that seemed to have a major impact was the withdrawal of the disappointing Asensio. Rodrigo came on and started to attack Russia with a sense of purpose, running at them rather than playing around them. Pique had a header saved but there were few other incidents of note until penalties ensued.

Spain went first and Akinfeev saved from Koke at 2-2. Iago Aspas missed at 3-4 allowing Russia to take the initiative and finish off what was a poor game overall. Let’s hope the other second round matches are more exciting than this one.



1 De Gea

4 Nacho (Carvajal 70')

3 Piqué - Booked 40'

15 Ramos

18 Alba

8 Koke

5 Busquets

20 Asensio (Rodrigo 104')

21 Silva (Iniesta 67')

22 Isco

19 Diego Costa (Iago Aspas 80')


2 Carvajal

6 Iniesta

7 Saúl

9 Rodrigo

10 Thiago Alcántara

11 Vázquez

12 Odriozola

13 Arrizabalaga

14 Azpilicueta

16 Monreal

17 Iago Aspas

23 Reina


1 Akinfeev

3 Kutepov - Booked 54'

4 Ignashevich

13 Kudryashov

2 Figueira Fernandes

7 Kuzyaev (Erokhin 97')

11 Zobnin - Booked 71'

18 Zhirkov (Granat 45')

19 Samedov (Cheryshev 61')

17 Golovin

22 Dzyuba (Smolov 65')


5 Semenov

6 Cheryshev

8 Gazinskiy

9 Dzagoev

10 Smolov

12 Lunev

14 Granat

15 Al Miranchuk

16 An Miranchuk

20 Gabulov

21 Erokhin

World Cup Last 16

Moscow Luzhniki

Sunday 1st July 2018

Spain 1

  • Ignashevich 12' (OG)

Russia 1

  • Dzyuba 41' (Pen)

1-1 after Extra Time
Russia win 4-3 on penalties

The Penalties:
  1. Iniesta (Sp) scores:
    • Spain 1-0 Russia
  2. Smolov (Ru) scores :
    • Spain 1-1 Russia
  3. Pique (Sp) scores:
    • Spain 2-1 Russia
  4. Iganshevich (Ru) scores:
    • Spain 2-2 Russia
  5. Koke (Sp) shot saved:
    • Spain 2-2 Russia
  6. Golovin (Ru) scores:
    • Spain 2-3 Russia
  7. Ramos (Sp) scores:
    • Spain 3-3 Russia
  8. Cheryshev (Ru) scores:
    • Spain 3-4 Russia
  9. Aspas (Sp) shot saved:
    • Spain 3-4 Russia

Referee: Björn Kuipers

Attendance: 78,011


  • Spain 79%
  • Russia 21%


  • Spain 24
  • Russia 7

Shots on Target

  • Spain 9
  • Russia 1


  • Spain 6
  • Russia 5


  • Spain 5
  • Russia 19