Spain’s loss to World Cup host Russia left fans watching on big screens in the Madrid suburb of Las Rozas shocked and almost at a loss for words. The former 2010 World Cup winner had started this edition with an unusual change of managers just days before the first match.
Spain’s defeat has left fans shocked. CGTN’s Al Goodman reports from Las Rozas.
But then, the team managed to get through its group in first place and there were high expectations of easily passing more modestly ranked Russia in the round of 16. Penalty kicks knocked the wind out of the fans and the Spanish team.
At this fan zone in a Madrid suburb, watching on big screens, the World Cup penalty shootout at the end of Spain’s match against Russia, was anguish. Before a home crowd, Russia’s goalie blocked the penalty kicks of two Spanish players.
The beginning of the match was different. High hopes for Spain, which won its first World Cup in 2010 in South Africa and fielded veterans from that team along with younger players.
“I think Spain’s going to pass through. Russia is going to score maybe one, maybe two. Yeah, it doesn’t matter. It’s good for the game,” said fan Victor Hermoso before the game.
Spain’s first point came in minute 12, the fans in the village of Las Rozas, kind of liked that. For this fan and many others, confidence at a peak.
“You’re off to a good start. I think it’s a good start, yeah. Why not,”said fan Victor Hermoso.
But at the end of the first half, the referee called a penalty on Spain and Russia converted, to tie the score. Now, a visiting Moscow TV reporter, maybe the only Russian fan in the entire crowd, was the confident one.
“The Spanish team they never won the host of the championship. That’s why we’re gonna see what happens next,” said Christina Levieva a Russian Channel 1 reporter.
What happened next was a scoreless second half, and a scoreless extra time. In the penalty shootout against Russia, Spain converted its first few penalty kicks but then came the two misses.