When Russia's coach Stanislav Cherchesov told a battery of journalists on Saturday that anyone can be a god if he tries, he did not know that his words would inspire his own goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to produce an awe-inspiring performance that would take the home nation to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 48 years.
After all that excitement, all that drama of the first day of the round of 16 matches of the Fifa World Cup 2018, the first match of the second day served up the exact opposite - no drama, no action, nothing, just some random passing for 90 minutes, and then extra time, before it all came to life in a penalty shootout, as Russian Federation edged Spain in Moscow.
Russia's ultra-defensive approach worked against a risk-averse Spain team that completed more than 1,000 passes, but nearly none into the penalty area.
It was finally in the 12th minute that Spain went ahead, the moment when 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich, dived into the Spanish captain Sergio Ramos at the second bar, tapping a free kick in with his foot and scored an own goal.
Russian Federation booked their spot in the quarter-finals for the first time, beating a heavily fancied Spain team in front of 78,000 fans at a raucous Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened. "The man of the match is our team - and our fans".
Millions of Russian fans, many of whom were mocking this team just a couple of weeks ago, are jumping loudly on the bandwagon. After this, Igor Akinfeev, the Russian keeper stopped Koke from scoring giving Russia the advantage. The game went to a stalemate after the break with both teams playing their opposing styles, but being unable to score in the second half of normal time, or the extra time that followed.
In those 120 minutes of play, Akinfeev was everything expected of an all-star caliber goalkeeper, and in the following 10 minutes, he was everything and more.
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Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, regarded by many as the modern goalkeeping paragon, is Spain's scapegoat for their pitiful exit from the tournament; and rightfully so: his middling performances against the likes of Portugal, Iran, and Morocco culminated in an inability to defend against much of anything in the penalty shootout against Russian Federation.
Russian Federation defeated Spain 4-3 on penalties after the teams were level at 1-1 after extra time.
Dzyuba calmly sent De Gea the wrong with his penalty to join Cheryshev on a team-leading three goals.
Russian penalty kickers were flawless against Spain's struggling goalkeeper David De Gea.
Meanwhile, the World Cup hosts came flying out of the gates in their first two group games.
World Cup history was made with the first use of a fourth substitute, which Federation Internationale de Football Association now allows teams in extra time. But he then saved from Koke (inset) and, decisively, Iago Aspas in the shoot-out.