Group A runners-up and host nation Russia played Group B winners Spain in the last 16 which took 120 minutes and penalties to determine who will qualify.
Russia’s game plan was obvious, to play deep and defensive but an error by Sergei Ignashevich cost them an own goal in 12th minute.
Nacho won a freekick near the corner flag where Marco Asensio delivered for Sergio Ramos to the header but was tackled down by Ignashevich who was not even looking at the ball.
A penalty should have been given but fortunately for Spain, while Ignashevich was tackling Ramos down the incoming ball hit his leg to go into his own net.
Russia was bog down in their own half until earning a corner in the 40th minute where Gerrard Pique jumped for the ball and had his hand in the air to block Artem Dzyuba’s header.
The referee pointed to the spot and gave Pique a yellow card.
Artem Dzyuba comfortably converted the penalty to equalise for Russia in the 41st minute.
Russia made all 3 substitutions within 20 minutes of the second half bringing on more mobile and fast players.
Most of the game, Spain was passing sideways and not creating the chances while Russia closed down the Spaniards whenever they pushed towards the penalty box.
However, Spain came close in the 85th minute with Andres Iniesta’s half-volley saved by the Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev but pushed the ball out for Lago Aspas’ shot from a tight angle..
After 90 minutes plus extra time, another 30 minutes was required to decide the game but Russia played deeper while Spain failed to breach their defence.
Only when Rodrigo Moreno came on for Marco Asensio in the 104th minute, Spain’s attack picked up the tempo but was not enough.
Hence the game ended with a penalty shootout and this seemed to be Russia’s game plan all along.
The first couple of penalties was comfortably scored by both teams including Ignashevich who scored the penalty, but Koke for Spain was the first to miss in the third set.
The following Russian penalties were converted with Sergio Ramos stepping up to score but Iagos Aspas’ penalty was saved by Akinfeev, ending the shootout with Russia coming on top.
Spain has been eliminated in the last 16 while Russia are the unlikely quarterfinalist.