Spain vs. Russia: Here's the penalty kick save by Igor Akinfeev that sent World Cup favorites Spain home

Spain has had a hard time playing against host nations in the history of the World Cup. It's getting to the point where it's becoming a familiar sight seeing La Roja lose to a host team. They entered Sunday's World Cup round of 16 match against Russia 0-3 against host nations. It seemed as if this would be the day to snap out of that skid against a less talented Russian squad, but goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had other ideas. The Russian shot-stopped put together one of the best matches of his career as his nation eliminated Spain 4-3 on penalty kicks after it was leveled at 1-1 through 120 minutes. 

Spain had 25 shots, nine of which were on frame, but Akinfeev saved them all, only conceded on an unfortunate own goal. 

And then, in the penalty kick shootout, he denied Koke and Iago Aspas to win the match. Here's the clincher, which was a brilliant kick save:

Here a look from the stands:

That's such a hard save to make. He knows instantly he's gone the wrong way and is just hoping to get something on it, and he did. He's bound to be a national icon and a hero after the performance of his life, and it's also one of the biggest upsets we've seen in Cup history when it comes to FIFA rankings. The ranking difference between Spain and Russia was 60 spots, third-largest disparity of all time.

For news, stories, results and more, follow us:

- @CBSSportsSoccer - @RGonzalezCBS - Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories