THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Russia’s fairytale World Cup run ends in tears

FOOTBALL: The impassioned shouts of ’Ros-si-ya’ died away on the streets and tears filled the stadium as Russia bowed out of their home World Cup in the cruellest fashion: on penalties.

Football
By AFP

Sunday 8 July 2018, 12:40PM


Russia’s defender Fyodor Kudryashov (C) reacts as his team miss a penalty during the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Russia and Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7, 2018. Photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP

Russia’s defender Fyodor Kudryashov (C) reacts as his team miss a penalty during the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Russia and Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7, 2018. Photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP

 

The men in red exceeded the wildest expectations by coming within a penalty kick and a save against Croatia of making it into the semi-finals for the first time since 1966.

They lost the quarter-final shootout 4-3 after extra-time ended with the sides deadlocked at 2-2 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

It was that close -- and it all ended just as the nation was starting to believe.

"We leave the tournament with tears in our eyes but our heads held high," the team tweeted as the stadium emptied of the 45,000 or so who had lost their voices cheering them on.

They had reason to be proud.

Russia were the lowest-ranked team entering the tournament and many in the sceptical media thought they would be lucky to win a game.

They trudged off the pitch after making it to the quarter-final for the first time in 48 years.

A semi-final was within grasp and the loss stung.

But the Russian team showed heart and won what seemed like the entire nation's gratitude.

"The champions of our hearts," the popular Sport Express daily said in a headline.

Then it paid them the highest compliment possible by declaring: "Russia knows how to play football."

- Empty feeling -

Laguna Golf Phuket

Fans who had been dancing in the streets after a heart-pounding shootout win over 2010 champions Spain in the last 16 last Sunday were gloomy but grateful.

The nation was mourning on Saturday -- but also paying its respects.

Chants of "Mo-lod-tsy" -- an almost untranslatable word of praise and thanks that roughly means "Good job, guys" -- echoed across the dark streets of Moscow and other cities.

"What can I say? It's a pity we are out of this tournament but I am very proud of my team," said Muscovite Alexander Khramoichenkov.

"I'm very proud of Russia," the 34-year-old said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the team's performance "magnificent" after the watching the game from a VIP box with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

He came down into the players' locker room and suggested that Russian football would never be its disappointing old self again.

"We will simply have a different type of football after this," he said. "I am absolutely certain of this."

But coach Stanislav Cherchesov -- his moustache becoming the unofficial symbol of Russia's Cinderella waltz through the tournament -- seemed visibly distraught.

"I am still not myself yet," he admitted after listening to a press conference question and then being unable to say a word.

Midfielder Roman Zobnin sounded very similar moments after he walked off the pitch.

"I have no emotions left. I left them all out there," he said with difficulty.

"I feel empty inside."

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Protect Andaman mass beach cleanup at Layan nets 92kg of trash

So they picked up 92.5 kilos of garbage and put it in about 100 large plastic bags....They also have...(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

"Use Firefox to search, Google blocks access" this should NOT be allowed... only a derange...(Read More)


Free emergency water now deployed across Phuket

"We now have free emergency water for residents," and so it bloody well should be. "...(Read More)


Free emergency water now deployed across Phuket

One can only but laugh at Proff k....(Read More)


Free emergency water now deployed across Phuket

Sigh, I go cycling every day and every day I see water being wasted, often by the city! Yesterday a...(Read More)


Power outage to leave Cherng Talay, Kamala, Srisoonthorn without water

Unbelievable. The city is installing electricity infrastructure and apologised for the disruption, ...(Read More)


Protect Andaman mass beach cleanup at Layan nets 92kg of trash

and when they do clean up, the clowns still complain....(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

Mental issues under the Mental Health Act are decided on expert medical evdience not precedent, ther...(Read More)


Thailand bans Boeing 737 MAX flights for 7 days

Do the thai pilots already have Boeing 737 Max flight simulator training in usa? The Indonesian and ...(Read More)


Protect Andaman mass beach cleanup at Layan nets 92kg of trash

Is it not strange not keeping thai beaches daily clean, a normal thing, but just once in a while don...(Read More)