A day of penalty kicks in the World Cup. First, Russia stun Spain by taking them the full 120 minutes and then beating them on penalty kicks. The day ended with Croatia and Denmark stretching another 1-1 draw into a penalty shootout, with Croatia finishing with the quarterfinal ticket.
Spain 1 Russia 1: Russia win 4-3 on penalties (Match Highlights)
Failing to adapt once more to a world that demands something other than slow, side to side passing, Spain are knocked out in the round of 16 against the hosts, who did very little aside from their equalizing penalty kick and their win in a penalty shootout. Spain’s lead was perhaps achieved in sin, as Sergio Ramos questionably fouled Sergei Ignashevich which resulted in another own goal. The bottom line? Spain completed over 1000 passes in this match, and only 7 times managed to find someone inside the penalty box. Iago Aspas, the team’s only other striker once Diego Costa leaves the pitch, missed the final penalty kick, as Igor Akinfeev stopped it with an outstretched leg.
Croatia 1 Denmark 1
In short? It’s not quite clear whether we witness one of the most incredible penalty goalkeeping sequence by Kasper Schmeichel and Danijel Subasic, or was this a batch of some of the worst “money time” penalty kicking we’ve ever seen? Luka Modric redeemed himself after missing a penalty in extra time with a shootout goal, and besides the Monaco goalkeeper, it was Ivan Rakitic with the goal that sent Croatia to their first World Cup quarter finals since 1998.
Up next: July 7, Sochi. Russia vs Croatia.
Save of the Day – Igor Akinfeev, Russia
In a day with goals that won’t make any top 10, 20 or 100 list, the Russian goalkeeper, rekindling his glory days when he was considered one of European football’s best kept secrets, makes our play of the day.
5 goals: Harry Kane (England)
4 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
3 goals: Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba (Russia), Diego Costa (Spain), Kylian Mbappe (France), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
2 goals: Mile Jedinak (Australia), Luka Modric (Croatia), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria), Eden Hazard (Belgium), John Stones (England), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Son Heung-Min (South Korea), Andreas Granqvist (Sweden), Yerry Mina (Colombia), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Antoine Griezmann (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
1 goal: Yuri Gazinsky, Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), Jose Maria Gimenez (Uruguay), Nacho, Isco, Iago Aspas (Spain), Paul Pogba, Benjamin Pavard (France), Lionel Messi, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Gabriel Mercado (Argentina), Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Christian Eriksen,Yussuf Poulsen, Mathias Jorgensen (Denmark), Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Chicharito (México), Neymar, Paulinho, Thiago Silva (Brazil), Steven Zuber, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Josip Drmic (Switzerland), Ola Toivonen, Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden), Dries Mertens, Michy Batshuayi, Adnan Januzaj (Belgium), Ferjani Sassi, Dylan Bronn, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef(Tunisia), Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osaka, Takashi Inui, Keisuke Honda (Japan), Juan Quintero, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane, Moussa Wague (Senegal), Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jan Bednarek (Poland), Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea), Marco Reus (Germany), Jesse Lingard (England), Felipe Baloy (Panama), Salman Al Faraj, Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia), Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe (Portugal), Khalid Boutaib, Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco), Karim Ansarifard (Irán), Andre Carrillo, Paolo Guerrero (Peru), Victor Moses (Nigeria), Kendall Watson (Costa Rica)
Goals in the tournament: 136 goals in 52 matches. 2.63 per match.
Brazil (Group E Winner) vs Mexico (Group F 2nd place)
Belgium (Group G Winner) vs Japan (Group H 2nd place)