Couldn't keep up with Sunday's Round of 16 action in Russia? Don't worry, BostonSportsJournal.com has you covered with all the highlights in quickie form, complete with BSJ insight and analysis.
FIVE THOUGHTS FROM SUNDAY'S PLAY
Spain shown the door via penalties: You can say it once, you can say it a thousand times, and for some it's like talking to a wall: even if you have loads of possession, even if you connect pass after pass after pass ad nauseum (hello, Arsenal), it matters not one iota if you can't bust through a team's defense and score goals. That was Spain, in a nutshell, Sunday — a Spain side that could not break down a strong Russian defense despite holding upward of 95 percent possession. La Roja had no creativity, no imagination, and it wasn't until the 85th that Spain finally put something together, with two attempts that went for naught. Russia withstood everything Spain threw at them, and took it to penalties after 30 extra minutes decided nothing. Russia would go on to win in the shootout, 4-3, after Igor Akinfeev saved Koke's penalty to give advantage to the Russians, and Iago Aspas' penalty went off Akinfeev's foot and away to move the hosts on to the quarterfinals.
There were goals in Moscow, despite the flawed approach: After Nacho found himself taken down out on the flank, the resulting free kick went to Sergio Ramos at the back post, who appeared to kick it in as he fell to the floor. But it was ruled an own goal, the 10th of the tournament, and Spain had a goal to nil lead after 12 minutes. The 2010 champions would have plenty of possession, as expected. Russia's Aleksandr Golovin had a go in the 36th, the closest Russia had come to scoring. That is until Artem Dzyuba buried a 41st-minute penalty to level it, after heading the ball off Gerard Pique's outstretched arm in the area. That was it until the shoot-out.