Veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero of the last 16 tie between Russia and Spain with a fine double save in a 4-3 shootout win for his country, triggering a wave of praise from football fans across the country.
Akinfeev made a string of saves during the match and also kept out penalties from Spain's Koke and Iago Aspas to clinch the tie and set up a quarter-final match in Sochi against either Croatia or Denmark.
Twitter was quick to praise Akinfeev, with many joking the 32-year-old's performance was enough to make him the new president of Russia.
Spain going home. Russia partying deep into the night. Russian maternity wards likely full in 40 weeks. Many children named Igor Akinfeev.— The Yanks Are Coming (@YanksAreComing) July 1, 2018
That is how to use your feet in goal.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 1, 2018
Igor Akinfeev with some stunning saves in the shootout. pic.twitter.com/KnreeuV8DI
Insane !!!!! INSANE !!!!! The Russians have done it !!!!! What a historic save from AKINFEEV !!!!! Absolutely ground out this win !!!!! Magic of sports !!!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 #ESPRUS— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) July 1, 2018
As penalties approach, it’s worth remembering that Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper, has always refused a move to a big foreign club because he loves "walking in birch forests and seeing the domes of churches" too much to leave Russia. #SpainVSRussia— Tom Holland (@holland_tom) July 1, 2018
You don’t expect your goalkeeper to save penalties, but to go far in a World Cup, a goalkeeper needs to produce a few unexpected, world class saves. Akinfeev just did what De Gea couldn’t. Massive credit to the veteran. Congrats, Russia!— Kevin Egan (@kev_egan) July 1, 2018
Take a bow Igor Akinfeev. Unbelievable goalkeeping.— Finn Cole (@FinnCole) July 1, 2018
An own goal from Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich and an equalizer at the other end from striker Artem Dzyuba made the score 1-1 at the end of normal time.
That's the way it stayed through extra time, meaning penalties were used for the first time in the tournament to decide a knockout game, with Fedor Smolov, Ignashevich, Aleksandr Golovin and Denis Cheryshev giving Russia the win.