Sports

Did Vladimir Putin phone call inspire Russian Federation to beat Spain?

Did Vladimir Putin phone call inspire Russian Federation to beat Spain?

Iniesta started Sunday's last-16 game on the bench as coach Fernando Hierro opted to rest the Barcelona legend.

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.

Russian Federation were not the first World Cup hosts to upset one of the favourites.

Sergei Ignashevich scored La Roja's 99th goal in World Cup history with an untidy own goal as he wrestled with Sergio Ramos when attempting to defend a free-kick. The quarterfinals match will take place on July 7 at Sochi's Fisht Stadium.

A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only 16 of them proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, which kicked off on June 14 and ended on June 28.

More news: Excessive Heat Warning issued for this weekend

"Like the entire country, Putin watched the game from the very beginning to the very end and supported the team", Peskov said.

There is no denying that De Gea is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world and his consistent feats of brilliance between the sticks of Manchester United over the years have placed him as the very best in the eyes of several supporters. However he defended the team after they controlled the match before losing on penalties.

"I am speechless because I expected a different game today".

"I think it's more defensive possession than attacking, and it should be the opposite."

Spain had a loud claim for a penalty late in extra time, with both Ramos and Pique appearing to be pulled back during a set piece, although referee Bjorn Kuipers did not see a foul even after consulting the video assistant referee system. "VAR is there to help, and the referee did not whistle it".