Twitter goes berserk as Spain are knocked out of the World Cup

Fernando Hierro

The following penalty shootout proved that that hosts Russian Federation was stronger scoring all five shots, while goalkeeper Igor Akenfeyev saved one of the strikes from Spain.

Per the Mirror's Alex Smith, the 34-year-old told Radio Estadio: "This was my last game for Spain".

Their quarter-final opponents will be decided on Sunday night, when Croatia face Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod.

"We can't start finger-pointing at anyone and laying any blame here", he said.

In that game, Russia's Alexander Yerokhin became the first player to be brought on as a fourth substitute during a World Cup match, going on in the 97th minute against Spain.

Less than five minutes remaining in the first half Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers flashed a yellow card to Spain's Gerard Pique for a foul in the Russian box ordering a penalty kick, which was flawlessly executed by Russian striker Artyom Dzyuba to tie the score at 1-1. That run was ended days later by a Spain team beginning its era of dominance.

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Sunday's defeat likely spells the end of Andres Iniesta's national-team career. The veteran Barcelona midfielder came off the bench and nearly won the game with an 85th-minute shot well saved by Akinfeev. Scored Spain's first penalty in the shootout.

MF David Silva, 4 - Surprisingly kept his place in the XI, but again looked off the pace, losing the ball three times in the opening eight minutes. Iniesta close to giving what would have surely been the victor for Spain. His shot from a tight angle forces Akinfeev into a save!

With only 12 minutes on the clock, Spain opened the scoring courtesy of an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich. A free-kick from the right was heading for Sergio Ramos, but Russian defender Ignashevich was focused on grappling with the Spain skipper and ignored the ball, which bounced off his heel and went into the far corner of the net. Pique's complaints were wasted.

Here are the highlights from day 17 at the World Cup... Artem Dzyuba converted easily to David de Gea's left.

The game would go to penalties, with Spain unable to create any real chances of note for the remainder of the game.

This Russian team, on the other hand, still have history to make and with big names falling by the wayside on an nearly daily basis, they must now be considered serious contenders for a return to the Luzhniki Stadium in the semi-final and perhaps even the final.

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