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 -

QSI International School 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
B1bn earmarked to improve road safety around schools

The picture says it all. 3 kids on a bike with no helmets and presumably no license (they don't ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

Way to set an example and actually improve road safety RTP... not. Spurious charges like this only s...(Read More)


Dogs rounded up at Ao Nang as PM visits Finnish boy dog-attack victim in hospital

Whatever the condition of more than 20 dogs is, they should never be allowed to be again at the beac...(Read More)


B1bn earmarked to improve road safety around schools

See the photo: 3 thai girls on 1 motorbike, no helmets, probably without driving license. And talki...(Read More)


Doubts on pot use linger over amended drug law

Well, a lot of tumbling new rules/laws/bla bla's. contradicting in everything, so, nothing will...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

Correct application of the law. If you're too lazy to look at the road and what you or others i...(Read More)


Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban

Dek, you are always talking about how you don't want Thailand to be a Nanny state. Now you are p...(Read More)


Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang, Krabi

When will the Thai government stop taking orders from other governments and foreign organizations su...(Read More)


German expat gets eight years jail for slaying Phuket girlfriend

8 Years? You call that justice? I think a bullet in the back of the head would have been a more a...(Read More)


Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang, Krabi

Dek, your comment makes no sense. Snakes not attack people when they are not provocated and feel the...(Read More)