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
Australian stabbed 12 times trying to protect Thai woman

I agree with CJ69 100%. However, there is a good chance that like the several 100K or millions of ...(Read More)


Second fire in three days breaks out in Rawai

Piled up/dumped garbage everywhere you look on Phuket. What is wrong with Phuket garbage 'cultu...(Read More)


Navy in motion to remove Phuket seastead

Bravo Navy!Who needs this things? Why not have a boat if you want to live on the water? Horst...(Read More)


Patong police, taxi drivers meet to discuss service, behaviour

always best to do this as high season comes to a close......(Read More)


In Big Joke saga, border patrol boss gets last laugh

Hope this new Immigration Chief continues with the idea of General Big Joke to stop with that 90 day...(Read More)


King cobra female caught in Patong, 30 eggs missing from nest

No need to investigate k, if you (I know you don't have any friends to eat with you) had Pad Tha...(Read More)


In Big Joke saga, border patrol boss gets last laugh

wow...in what language was that comment written in?...(Read More)


Patong police, taxi drivers meet to discuss service, behaviour

This is kinda like the Principal, the School Counselor and a couple teachers getting together with t...(Read More)


Residents, hotels blamed for Nai Yang canal pollution

.. " One has no authority". Just dismiss yourself. Need other departments to come in and d...(Read More)