World Cup hero Akinfeev says Russian Federation were aiming for penalties

World Cup hero Akinfeev says Russian Federation were aiming for penalties

World Cup hero Akinfeev says Russian Federation were aiming for penalties

President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov over the phone for his side's World Cup win over Spain, who were consoled at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium by King Felipe VI.

Now that Spain are out of the World Cup, one of Russia, England, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland or Colombia will be guaranteed to participate in the World Cup final.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after Russian Federation knocked the 2010 champions out on penalties in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, that Putin - who watched the game on TV - had not put any pressure on the team to win. "He is one of the best players in Spanish football history - I can't say anything else".

Pique has played every minute of Spain's campaign so far and is looking for his second World Cup title triumph after succeeding with the national team back in 2010.

Besides the penalty kicks in the shootout, there were only a total of seven shots on target at his goal through the tournament, and he conceded goals to six of them, including three to Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I just feel emptied out", Akinfeev said.


Misses from Koke and Iago Aspas during the shootout allowed Russian Federation to clinch a 4-3 victory and progress to Saturday's quarterfinal in Sochi against Croatia.

Akinfeev stopped kicks from Koke and Iago Aspas, while Russia's marksmen scored all four penalties they took. "We left our soul in the pitch".

Spain was more urgent in extra time after being too passive when it dominated the ball in the 90 minutes of regular time.

"Penalties are a lottery - and we lost today, but I am very proud of these players as captain".

"When I told people "I am going to Russia". they said "Oh, no, be careful" and stuff like that".

The king is a soccer fan who, as crown prince, attended the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to see Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time.

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