Hosts Russia have exceeded expectations after advancing to the World Cup quarter-finals with a win on penalties over Spain but they will need more firepower if they are to give Croatia a run for their money on Saturday.
The Spaniard, who looked shaky in all three group games, was unable to save any of Russia's four penalties in Moscow after La Roja failed to find a victor despite making over 1000 passes. "At the end, the coach looks at what's best for the team, and that's how I understood it", he added, reports Xinhua news agency. Tonight, we were that team at the right place at the right time.
"There are players around, they just have to find a path to success", he said.
Russia's Aleksandr Yerokhin made a little piece of World Cup history on Sunday when he became the first man to appear as a fourth substitute in a tournament match during the hosts' game against Spain in Moscow.
Participants of a wedding ceremony celebrate the victory of Russia over Spain in their soccer World Cup Round of 16 match, in the town of Pushkin outside St Petersburg, Russia July 1, 2018. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties. "We don't like this kind of structure but this is what we had to do with three defenders".
Ahead of the game, Sport FM presenter Sofronov said he would mark a seemingly improbable Russian win by donning a dress for work - a pledge he fulfilled on Monday by wearing a fetching peach-colored number.
Rubiales stood by his decision to dismiss Lopetegui and praised the work done by Hierro and his team.
"Spain built up so much absurdity during this tempestuous World Cup campaign that they ended up condemning themselves", it said.
Despite the disappointment suffered in Russia, Iniesta believes he is passing the baton on to a group of talented young players as he continues the twilight of his career in Japan. "We understand that in these moments you have to be effective".
They rode that support, and occasionally their luck, to recover from falling behind to a 12th-minute own goal from Sergei Ignashevich.
Forward Artem Dzyuba buried it for his third goal of the tournament to awaken the subdued crowd.
Spain legend Andres Iniesta has officially announced his retirement from global football.