Russia captain Igor Akinfeev was the hero as they dumped out Spain from the 2018 FIFA World Cup via penalty shootout.

Russia continued their impressive run in the World Cup, as they beat one of the pre-tournament favourites Spain on penalties to eliminate them in the Round of 16, at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts were pegged back early in the game, as veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich netted into his own net just 12 minutes post the kick-off. However, they bounced back before half-time though, as striker Artem Dzyuba stepped up to hit home an accurate penalty, after Gerard Pique handled the ball inside the box.

Both the teams continued to search for that winning goal, which continued to prove elusive even after the 30-minute extra time, sending the match into penalties.

The first four takers – Andres Iniesta, Fyodor Smolov, Gerard Pique and Sergei Ignashevich all found the back of the net, after which Koke was denied by Akinfeev, before Aleksandr Golovin scored again to put Spain in a dangerous spot.

Captain Sergio Ramos stepped and delivered next, but his former Real Madrid teammate Denis Cheryshev ensured Russia held their advantage before Akinfeev made a stunning stop to keep Iago Aspas out and send the Sbornaya through the quarterfinals, where they are set to face Croatian, who edged past Denmark via penalties on the same day.

Twitter was filled with very interesting reactions to the surprise result and here we pick out some of the best tweets post the game;

Igor Akinfeev’s performance between the sticks during the penalty shootout also drew a lot of praise from all quarters, especially after his recent history of mistakes.

Bollywood superstars too joined in to celebrate Akinfeev’s display on the day. Randeep Hooda couldn’t stop himself from having a sly dig at Sergio Ramos, while Ranveer Singh was also effusive in his praise for the Russian captain.

Following Spain’s exit, legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta announced his retirement from international football, sparking a whole lot of reactions from the Twitterati.