Moscow: Hosts Russia continued their fairytale run to stun former champions Spain on penalties in their Round of 16 match in Moscow to march into the quarter finals on Sunday.
They prevailed 4-3 on penalties after the regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw.
It was an insipid performance from the 2010 world champions, who dominated possession against the hosts in the first half and went ahead courtesy of a Sergei Ignashevich own goal in the 12th minute.
But as the clock ticked down to half-time, the referee adjudged that Gerard Pique had handled the ball and Artem Dzyuba made no mistake from the spot.
The introduction of Andres Iniesta from the bench in the second half failed to break the deadlock for Spain.
Spain played much of the game at a suprisingly low tempo and made few attempts to attack into the Russian penalty area.
Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made a diving save to tip away Iniesta’s powerful shot from the top of the area and got to his feet immediately to block Iago Aspas’ shot from the deflection with five minutes to go in regulation.
King Felipe VI of Spain was present to watch his nation play hosts Russia. The king heads Fifa’s list of VIP guests for the round of 16 game, which also includes Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
President Vladimir Putin has not returned to the stadium where he watched Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game on June 14.
Spain’s king is a football fan who, as crown prince, attended the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to see La Roja beat the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time.
He had other business four years ago when Spain was eliminated by a 2-0 group-stage loss to Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The following day in Madrid, Felipe was sworn in as king after the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos.