Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev practised saving penalties with his dangling feet prior to heroics against Spain in World Cup last-16 shootout
- Russia progressed to World Cup quarter-finals after beating Spain on penalties
- Igor Akinfeev was Russia’s hero against Spain during the penalty shootout
- Akinfeev saved penalties from both Koke and Iago Aspas in the shootout
- The Russian goalkeeper brilliantly saved Aspas’ penalty with his dangling foot
Russia held Spain to a 1-1 draw after extra-time in the last-16 World Cup clash but the hosts came out on top during the penalty shootout, winning 4-3 thanks to Akinfeev’s heroics.
The CSKA Moscow goalkeeper saved two penalties in Moscow, one from Koke and the other from Iago Aspas, which won the game for the jubilant Russians.
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Igor Akinfeev has been practising saving penalties with his feet during training at World Cup
Russia’s official account posted a video of Akinfeev saving a penalty off Artem Dzyuba
The 32-year-old goalkeeper saves Dzyuba’s spot-kick with his out-stretched right foot
But it was Akinfeev’s save off Aspas that got everyone talking for all the right reasons after the goalkeeper brilliantly denied the Spaniard with his dangling left foot.
And it has emerged that Akinfeev had been practising saving penalties with his feet during Russia’s training sessions at the World Cup.
Russia’s official Twitter account posted a video of Akinfeev saving a very similar penalty off his team-mate Artem Dzyuba to the one he pulled off against Aspas.
Akinfeev saved a penalty with his left foot off Iago Aspas during the shootout against Spain
His brilliant save ensured Russia beat Spain to progress to the World Cup quarter-finals
In the social media video, the 32-year-old goalkeeper is filmed saving the spot-kick with his out-stretched right foot.
The country’s Twitter account captioned their post: ‘Let’s open you to a secret: it was Artem Dzyuba who trained Igor for the last questionable penalty in the shootout’.
Russia will face Croatia in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, after Luka Modric and Co nervously beat Denmark thanks to a penalty shootout as well.
Akinfeev and his Russian team-mates take on Croatia in the quarter-finals on Saturday