The excitement of the first half dissipated soon after the restart as the game fell into a rather boring rhythm of Spain dominating possession without truly threatening.
Rising star Aleksandr Golovin and his Russian teammates face Spain at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with a place in the quarterfinals on the line. Nothing much was expected of this Russian team, reflected by their Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking, results in friendlies, and the absence of key players including striker Aleksandr Kokorin, but here they are on the brink of facing the victor of this afternoon's matchup between Croatia and Denmark.
Early flickers from Spain came through Isco's measured passing, but when their opening goal arrived after 11 minutes it came from a set piece.
Spain, who have never beaten a host at World Cups or Euros, went ahead after 12 minutes when 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich bundled into Spain captain Sergio Ramos at the far post, knocking a free kick in with his heel for the 10th own goal of the tournament. Subs - Granat 5, Smolov 6, Cheryshev 6, Erokhin 5.
Their match against Spain didn't exactly get off to a dream start. His shot from a tight angle forces Akinfeev into a save!
With five minutes to go they were agonisingly close to a victor as Iniesta latched on to a clever touch from Aspas and his low strike from the edge of the area hit the post.
Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas on a dinner date in Mumbai
Not so long ago, rumours of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Hollywood singer Nick Jonas having a thing was doing the rounds. Jonas and Chopra were seen holding hands as she led the way through photographers and the many, many fans that gathered outside.
Neymar hobbles out of Brazil World Cup training
Brazil forward Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their World Cup group game against Costa Rica on Friday.
Portugal boss Santos wary of under-pressure Morocco
If anyone thought Portugal were a one-man team at this World Cup, last Friday's match only reinforced such an opinion. The Morocco defender Nabil Dirar added: "Tomorrow will be a final for us, an important battle".
Despite overwhelming possession time, Spain were unable to break down the Russian defence even after extra-time.
However, Iniesta's effort was parried away by Igor Akinfeev and extra time was called in Moscow.
Aspas was unable to get the ball under control after Iniesta had threaded a pass through into the area, with Spain pinning Russian Federation deep inside their own half but still unable to find a way through. But after consulting VAR the referee ruled out a penalty.
That was until the 85th minute, when after almost 30 minutes without a significant chance on goal, Iniesta stung the palms of Igor Akinfeev, who completed a fine double save to deny Iago Aspas on the follow up, sending the tie into extra time.
Andres Iniesta put the hosts ahead 1-0 from the spot, but Fyodor Smolov returned fire for Russian Federation despite a hand from David De Gea in goal.