The host nation of the World Cup, Russia has shocked the international stage as they tied with Spain with a 1-1 draw last Sunday, July 1, 2018. For the first time throughout the cup, the draw led to penalties leaving the crowd roaring into a shockwave.
Spain’s striker Iago Aspas and 26-year-old midfielder Koke fell short, enabling a win of 4-3 on penalties. Russia’s star man Igor Akinfeev caught the goal that saved two penalties for Mother Russia.
One of the World Cup favorites, Spain was eliminated ultimately giving England all the more chances of attaining a place at the finals. With Russia’s penalty breakthrough, England will have to be well-equipped and extra cautious with Russia on the pursuit to the finals on July 15.
Although Spain was the expected team to go against England for their side of the draw, last Sunday’s game definitely altered that expectation. England will have to face Colombia on Tuesday and bring home a victory in order to face Sweden or Switzerland prior to Russia or Croatia in the semi-final.
Russia’s Footing as the Host Country
Russian President Vladimir Putin is ecstatic with the result of last Sunday’s game. “If Russia had lost today it would have been embarrassing as it is only the second round and most Russians want us to win this tournament.” Russian supporter Boris Brahaminov stated.
Russia making it this far in the tournament brings a great big boost for the World Cup in general which also heavily impacts Russia’s interest and morale. Crowds of Russian fans and supporters came alive as the World Cup host nation aced Sunday’s match against Spain.
Croatia will be next to face Russia on Sunday, July 8, 2018.