Half-time: Russia 1-1 Spain Spain was ahead after Nacho won a freekick down the right wing. Asensio whipped a delivery in towards Ramos at the far post. The Real Madrid defender got into a tussle with Ignashevich and the ball went in off the Russian defender. OWN GOAL!
Urged on by a vociferous home crowd, Russia has been pouring forward and get a reward finally. Gerard Pique thinks he is playing volleyball and handles a corner with his arms high. PENALTY!
GOAL! The hosts are level! Artem Dzyuba converts the penalty with aplomb, sending De Gea the wrong way.
There were times in that half when I was in danger of nodding off – when Spain was showcasing their Peter Ebdon approach to football – but Russia stayed awake and Spain crumbled at the first hint of real pressure. Dzyuba’s penalty has made this very interesting.
Diego Costa’s sudden involvement in the last couple of minutes of the half gave suggested that Spain understood belatedly that they need to be more proactive to progress. And that could leave them more vulnerable to the hosts. Spain has always been vulnerable to hosts.