Spain 1 (3) vs. (4) 1 Russia
An Ignashevich own goal gave the Spanish the lead in the 12th minute but a Piqué hand ball gifted the Russians a penalty which Dzyuba converted in the 41st minute to restore parity. The game played out as most Spanish team games as Spain dominated possession and chances but failed to put the ball into the back of the net. Russia defended heroically and were buoyed by their home support which helped them take the game to penalties. Iniesta scored the first penalty, Smolov converted for Russia, Piqué scored the second penalty, but Ignashevich restored parity, Koke stepped up but Akinfeev saved his penalty, young Golovin scored his penalty to give Russia the lead, Ramos converted his penalty, and tried to play mind games with Cheryshev but Russia restored their lead, up stepped Aspas but his penalty was saved and Russia reached the Quarter-Finals. Possession is great but time and time again it is proven that unless you do not score a goal you will not win a game. The experienced Spanish players scored their penalties but Aspas, and Koke both buckled under the pressure. It is hard to judge a goalie based on penalties but the fact that De Gea did not even manage to save one should be noted. Russia go through in what is already a major bonus in their World Cup experience.
Croatia 1 (3) vs. (2) 1 Denmark
In what was probably the most evenly matched game in the World Cup, Denmark lost on penalties. Denmark opened the scoring via Jorgensen but Mandzukić restored the lead in the 4th minute. The game then meandered out to extra time in which Modrić missed a penalty in the 116th minute. For the second time of the day the match reached penalties. Eriksen and Badelj both missed their opening penalties as they were saved by Schmeichel, and Subasić. Kjaer and Kramarić both scored their penalties. Khron-Dehli and Modrić also managed to score their penalties. Schone and Pivarić both missed their penalties as the goalkeepers made stunning saves. Jorgensen missed his penalty and Rakitić scored his to give Croatia victory and send them to the next round. Penalties are cruel and a matter of luck but the fact that five penalties were saved shows that it also requires skill and nerves to convert them. An evenly matched game which no team should regret to exit, Subasić saved the Croatians but Schmeichel can also keep his head held high.