Russia continued their dream run at the FIFA World Cup 2018 as they beat Spain 4-3 on penalties to qualify for the quarter-finals on Sunday night in Moscow.The lowest-ranked team in the competition managed to stun the 2010 world champions, who are ranked 10 currently after holding them to a 1-1 draw in regulation time and then edging them 4-3 via penalties.Russia’s Igor Akinfeev, who was also adjudged the man-of-the-match, saved penalties from Koke and Iago Aspas to take the hosts into the quarters where they will face Croatia, who also won on penalties against Denmark a few hours later in Novgorod.World Cup 2018: On night of penalty shootouts, goalkeepers turn superheroesThe host nation has been exceeding all expectations in this edition and has emerged as the team with the most goals (9) in the competition so far along with Belgium.As Akinfeev made the final save with his left foot to stop Aspas’ spot kick, massive celebrations took place in and outside the stadium in Moscow as the fans partied till the wee hours of the night.World Cup 2018: David De Gea trolled mercilessly after Spain crash outRussia had already defied expectations by reaching the World Cup last 16 for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union but after victory over Spain fans now believe the tournament’s lowest-ranked team could go all the way. World Cup 2018: Russian supporters celebrate the victory against Spain in the city centre in Moscow (Reuters Photo)”This is unreal, no-one thought it could happen. And now people are starting to believe,” said Yulia Gordinskaya who had Russian flags painted on her cheeks.advertisementAndres Iniesta announces Spain retirement after World Cup 2018 exit”Of course we can win the World Cup! We just need a bit of luck,” she said after the game.Street celebrations broke out almost immediately on a central Moscow square where a band erupted in a rendition of the Russian anthem as passing cars tooted their horns and men staggered out of a nearby bar waving Russian flags.Lowest ranked team of World Cup 2018 shocks former world championsAs darkness fell on the capital, fans leant out of car windows waving flags as crowds danced in the street in front of traffic policemen. Reuters Photo”This is a great victory for us, for the whole country, the soul of the country,” Mikhail Sitner, 34, from Moscow, said.World Cup 2018: Sergio Ramos and Spain heartbroken after knockout dramaWith celebrations in full swing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin, who did not attend the game, had watched it remotely from start to finish and called manager Stanislav Cherchesov to congratulate him.The unexpected success of the national team has been a political boon for Putin but the Russian president has attended only Russia’s opening World Cup match.World Cup 2018: Spain falter against another host nationPrime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who attended Sunday’s game with his wife, posted a photograph of himself and Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko clapping and celebrating with Russia’s players. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) congratulates members of team Russia after the match (Reuters Photo)Igor Akinfeev was the name on fans’ lips in the capital after the Russian goalkeeper and captain saved two penalties in the 4-3 shootout, including Spain’s final effort which he stopped with a trailing foot.World Cup 2018: Russia’s heroic goalkeeper was hoping for penalty shootout”We cheered so hard. Igor Akinfeev is just a legend,” said Gleb Lonshakov, as his friend shouted “man of the match!”So low were Russia’s expectations going into the tournament that a satirical song mocking the team went viral online, garnering more than nine million views on YouTube.”Honestly, before the tournament I had very low expectations, everyone was just hoping to God that we would get out of the group stage. And then we drew Spain, I thought everything would end,” said Sitner.”This morning I was very nervous but now it is time to celebrate.”Sergei Galunenko, 51, a construction worker, went further: “This is the birth of our national team, that’s what this victory means for us.”(With Reuters inputs)
William Shatner will join his wife Elizabeth, Wells Fargo Greater Los Angeles Lead Region President, David DiCristofaro and Wells Fargo Senior Vice President, Jonathan Weedman at a news event to announce a major contribution to support therapeutic service for military veterans, Thursday, December 17 at 10:00 AM at Shadow Hills Riding Club, 10263 La Canada Way, #2, Shadow Hills, Calif.As part of the news conference, Wells Fargo will make a check presentation to The All Glory Project, an organization seeking to promote, foster and support programs and institutions that utilize animal-assisted and adjunct therapies in aiding military veterans and their families.The All Glory Project’s mission is to educate the public about opportunities to support equine-assisted therapy.