Igor Akinfeev was the hero as Russia reached the World Cup quarter-finals in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Spain.

RUSSIAN PLAYERS CELEBRATING

Akinfeev saved spot-kicks from Koke and Iago Aspas during a nerve-jangling finale at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium as the delirious hosts ousted the 2010 champions and booked a last-eight showdown with Croatia which also defeated Denmark 3-2 on penalties after 1-1 draw at full and extra time.

Sergei Ignashevich had unwittingly handed Spain a 12th-minute lead after tussling with Sergio Ramos, only for Artem Dzyuba to cancel out the own goal with a well-struck penalty (41) after Gerard Pique was punished for handball.

Meanwhile the Croatian defeat of Denmark has made it their first World Cup quarter final qualification since 1998