Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev secured the biggest upset of the 2018 World Cup, and arguably in Russia's soccer history, with his two massive saves in a penalty shoot-out with Spain on July 1.
And the euphoric after-party he has sparked for the host nation is also one for the ages.
After Russia won the shoot-out at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium 4-3, following a 1-1 draw in regulation, fans spilled onto Russia's streets in celebration of Akinfeev's late-game heroics.
BBC Russian's Nastya Golubeva was one of many to capture the electrifying environment in the Russian capital, where horn-honking drivers mingled with the jubilant, lamppost-scaling masses -- many wearing false mustaches in imitation of coach Stanislav Cherchesov.
Along with street barriers, the celebrations crossed political divides in uniting the country.
"YEEEEESSS! We need to announce a series of protests demanding that [goalkeeper Igor] Akinfeev is made a Hero of Russia," wrote opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who has been jailed numerous times over his involvement in protests against President Vladimir Putin's government.
In a tweet, the Russian team declared: “We did this for our country! We did this for you! Thank you for the support!!!”
Amie Ferris-Rotman, the Moscow correspondent of The Washington Post, noted that the team's tweet was reposted by both Navalny and members of Putin's government.
"Sport really is unifying, albeit temporarily, the nation," Ferris-Rotman wrote on Twitter.
Before the tournament, few soccer pundits were giving host Russia much of a chance, noting over and over that their FIFA ranking (70th) placed them last among the teams competing at the tournament being held in cities across the country. Now, Russia has advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals, while perennial powerhouses Spain, Germany, Argentina, and Portugal are all packing their bags.
"It's a miracle," wrote the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "Three weeks ago people who believed that the Russian team could even advance past the group stage risked being declared insane."
"Never has Russia's team risen so high in football's main forum," the newspaper wrote. "The mighty Spaniards, who play in the world's best and richest clubs, have bowed their heads."
Russia’s shock victory came the same day that thousands of people took to the streets of the country to protest government plans to raise the retirement age.
Labor unions, political parties, and Navalny had called on Russians to demonstrate on July 1 against a bill to raise the pension age from 60 to 65 by 2028 for men and from 55 to 63 for women by 2034.
As the news site Meduza.io noted, the protests got absolutely no coverage on major media either controlled by or favorable to the Kremlin.
Whether that was by design is impossible to say, considering the obstacles of competing with genuine World Cup fever.
Theatergoers at the famous Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg whooped it up when word of the result was announced during a performance:
Russian pop singer Zemfira announced to the crowd at her outdoor concert in Minsk that "We won!," apparently forgetting the city is the capital of another country.
Russians not only on the ground but in space were cheering for the national soccer team.
Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev sent a congratulatory tweet from outer space aboard the International Space Station.
Russia’s grand dame of pop, Alla Pugacheva, and her husband, Maksim Galkin, were literally jumping for joy on Instagram over the result from their residence on Cyprus, a hub for Russia’s well-heeled.
Many were praising goalkeeper Akinfeev, who came up with a handful of key saves, including one with his outstretched left foot during the shoot-out, to seal the win.
On Twitter, Andrei Malakhov, a presenter on state-run Channel One TV, posted a cartoon of Akinfeev’s left leg.
On Facebook, FB LOL posted a meme of a many-handed, gloved Akinfeev posing like a Hindu goddess.
Others were singing the praises of Cherchesov, the stoic 54-year-old mustachioed North Ossetian at the helm of the team.
At the postgame press conference, Cherchesov put the success down to strategy.
"It wasn't open football on our part. They are better than us in many ways, so I didn't believe we should risk attacking. And I think we chose the correct tactic."
Yevgeny Nesin, a journalist with the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, said Cherchesov has transformed the Russians into the "most unpredictable team" at the 2018 World Cup.
In Yekaterinburg, a billboard has appeared along a highway reading, "You’re simply the best, Stas!"
The optimism and euphoria should last at least until July 7, when Russia faces Croatia in the World Cup quarterfinals at Fisht Stadium in Sochi.