Heroes And Villains Of The World Cup: Matchday 17

Spain, the side many elevated to the status of favorites after landing Russia in the Round of 16 followed by a quarterfinal against either Croatia or Denmark, is out. We said it before, and we’ll say it again: if you look ahead at the 2018 World Cup then you’re already dead.

Also, if you complete 1,006 passes in one match you’re dead as well. That’s another thing we learned today. 

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Heroes and Villains of the World Cup: Matchday 17

Hero: Igor Akinfeev (Russia)

Akinfeev made a couple good saves during the match to keep Russia in it, but those saves will be forgotten because of this one right here:

He brought a lot of joy to the home nation tonight. Moscow's probably a pretty decent place to be at the moment.

Honorable mention: Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)

The Danish goalkeeper did everything in his power to lift his side into the quarterfinals, including a penalty save on Luka Modric in the 116th minute and two more saves in the penalty shootout. Unfortunately his teammates couldn't match his efforts.

The shots of father Peter in the stands were enough to make you start weeping like Neymar

Villain: David de Gea (Spain)

It’s a ridiculous sort of stat since six of these shots are penalties and another is that absurd free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo, but the world’s best goalkeeper did not have a tournament to remember. 

He just didn't look confident in the shootout, but when you’ve only made one save over the course of two and a half weeks that’s probably to be expected. 

Honorable mention: Gerard Pique (Spain)

Despite completing over 1,000 passes, Spain never really looked like doing much after the opening goal. Regardless, the major frustration has to be conceding an equalizer against a side that was well and truly parking the bus. 

The only way Russia was ever going to score was via a terrible Spanish mistake. This was incredibly stupid from Pique — was this the moment that tiki-taka died?  

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