Russia shockingly eliminated Spain from the World Cup, surviving two hours of dominance by the 2010 champions in a 1-1 draw before winning a penalty-kick shootout 4-3.
Russia's captain and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved spot-kicks from Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion and Iago Aspas, and four of his teammates scored without a miss.
Akinfeev used his trailing left foot to kick the ball high away from the goal on Spain's last attempt by Aspas. The veteran goalkeeper leapt up, punched the air with both hands and leapt into a belly flop dive on to the rain-soaked turf as teammates raced to him from the halfway line.
China does not have a team in the World Cup — it finished fifth in its six-team group in Asian qualifying — but it does have a lot of fans in Russia, where the country’s economic clout has given it a huge presence.
Edinson Cavani scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo none, giving Uruguay a 2-1 victory over Portugal on Saturday at the World Cup.
On the same day, Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina's loss, the other “GOAT” at this tournament that also was eliminated. It was two weeks ago that Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the same stadium against Spain, stroking his chin after the first goal to imply he was the “greatest of all time.”
Uruguay, a two-time champion that reached the semifinals at the 2010 World Cup, will next face France on Friday in Nizhny Novgorod.
If Mexico had taken care of business in its final group-stage game with Sweden, it would be facing Switzerland in the round of 16 this week, safely tucked in the softer side of the World Cup bracket alongside Russia, Denmark and Colombia.