Russia held their nerve till the last minute and defeated favourites Spain in tiebreaker of the round of 16 match of FIFA World Cup. Here we’ll discuss about the five major talking points of the match.
1. Tikitaka & Unnecessary Square Passes :
Fernando Hierro took the reign of Spain team only 48 hours before their 1st match, when the Spainish Federation sacked Julien Lopetegui. Hierro didn’t change the strategy much & sticked with the theory of Tikitaka. In the groups, they were held by mighty Portugal & Morocco, where they somehow defeated Iran. Spain qualified for the next round but the X factor was somehow missing in their game. Against Russia, they had sticked with the theory of Tikitaka, & played lots of unnecessary square passes which did not serve the purpose.
2. Cherchesov’s 5 man Defence & Defensive Football :
Cherchesov was much more attacking in nature when his team played & outplayed Saudi Arabia & Egypt. In these matches, he used 4 man defence. Against Spain, he changed his mind & put 5 man defence for nullifying attacks of Spain. Russia beautifully implemented their stretegy in the match and prevented Spain from playing passes near their box and completely immobilised Diego Costa.
3. Akinfeev The Hero :
Spain was dominant most of time, but Russia was prepared to for resisting their attacks, as was Akinfeev. He saved some dangerous shots & kept Russia in the match till the last minitue. In the tiebreaker, the experienced custodian saved the shots of Koke & Iago Aspas. Akinfeev had been criticised after his performance against Uruguay, but now he is again in the limelight after his heroic performance against Spain.
4. Motivation For Cherchesov :
Cherchesov, the former goalkeeper of Spartak Moskova once played against Hierro’s Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League QF, where Spartak Moskova defeated Real Madrid by 3-1 & qualified for the next round. Here again Hierro failed to win against Cherchesov. Cherchesov told previously that the match would be a motivation for him & it worked finally.
5. Eighty Thousand Crowd Shatters Spain :
Russia played valiantly in defeating Spain, too were their fans in the gallery. The 80k supporters constantly supported their beloved team till the last minute. And the hosts has successfully qualified for the quarter final where they would meet either Croatia or Denmark.