Igor Akinfeev was Russia’s hero after saving two penalties in a shootout to dump Spain out of the World Cup and book the hosts a place in the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw in Moscow.
Aleksandr Golovin’s early break down the right raised excitement levels among Russia’s loud following, but his cross was blocked and Aleksandr Samedov’s resulting corner was too deep.
Spain then took the lead from a more accurate set piece in the 12th minute.
Isco’s free kick from deep on the right saw Sergei Ignashevich grappling with Sergio Ramos at the back post and the ball inadvertently bounced past Akinfeev off the veteran defender’s heel, although Spain’s captain tried to claim the goal.
Spain were dominating possession but complacency edged into their game and the next big chance fell to Russia in the 36th minute, with Golovin bending a shot wide after Artem Dzyuba held off Ramos to win a header.
And Russia were then gifted a penalty when Gerard Pique handled in the box.
Dzyuba – whose header was blocked by the defender’s arm – crashed home from 12 yards to send the sides level into half-time after Akinfeev did well to deny Diego Costa.
Jordi Alba and Costa missed efforts after the restart as Spain tried to increase their tempo.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov could smell a major upset and introduced Villarreal midfielder Denis Cheryshev – who hit three goals in the group stage – while Spain sent for Andres Iniesta, who had started 21 consecutive matches at international tournaments.
And it was Iniesta who almost came up with the winner in the 85th minute, with Akinfeev getting down low to his right to save, the goalkeeper then denying Iago Aspas on the rebound.
Akinfeev claimed Pique’s header and pushed away a Rodrigo Moreno shot in extra time, while the introduction of Aleksandr Erokhin as Russia’s fourth substitute made World Cup history.
Pique and Ramos both appeared to be held from a set piece but, after a VAR check, referee Bjorn Kuipers waved away Spain’s desperate appeals.
Host nations had won each of their last four shootouts and when Akinfeev easily kept out a tame Koke effort, Russia were on track for one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.
David de Gea’s miserable World Cup was complete as he was beaten by all four Russia penalties, piling the pressure on Aspas, who saw his effort diverted away by the leg of home hero Akinfeev.
Russia’s first win over Spain since the break up of the Soviet Union books the hosts a place in the quarter-finals, where either Denmark or Croatia await.