Hosts Russia recorded the biggest upset of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday when they knocked out 2010 winners Spain in the pre-quarters by virtue of a thrilling penalty shootout and La Roja midfielder Isco has taken to Instagram to express his disappointment.
Isco and Co. were heavy favourites to progress to the last-eight but found it difficult to click in attack against the hosts, despite dominating possession from the off.
The Real Madrid midfielder posted this on his Instagram handle:
The post, when translated, reads: “And it’s the saddest day of my career … but this is football and this does not stop … life does not stop … it’s time to get up as we’ve always done … pride in defending this country.”
A sad day for Spanish football indeed, as iconic midfielder Andres Iniesta announced his retirement from international football in the aftermath of their defeat at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Isco and his compatriots dominated the hosts for the most part of the 120 minutes, but struggled to fashion any clear-cut chances against a dogged Russian defence.
In fact, Russia custodian Igor Akinfeev wasn’t truly tested in regulation and extra time.
He did earn his keep, however, in the ensuing penalty shootout, saving spot-kicks from Iago Aspas and Koke as the hosts stunned their fancied opponents in dramatic fashion.
While Spain now fly back home, Russia will face the Croatia in the quarters.
The Croatians edged Denmark in a nail-biting manner as well, winning a shootout 3-2 to book their berth in the last eight.