Uruguay bursts Russia's bubble

So much for the idea that Russia can play with the big boys of international soccer.

The World Cup hosts entered the tournament as the lowest-ranked team in the 32-team field, but they looked like world-beaters in disposing of Saudi Arabia (5-0) and Egypt (3-1).

The wins assured Russia of a spot in the round of 16 and ended local concerns that it might join South Africa in 2010 as the only World Cup host not to make it out of the first round.

But Monday's 3-0 loss to Uruguay confirmed Russia's problems when it plays a team with attacking stars like Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who both scored, and an organized defense.

What's next ...
June 30 Uruguay (Winner Group A) vs. Portugal (Runner-up Group B), in Sochi (2 pm ET, Fox, Telemundo)
July 1 Russia (Runner-up Group A) vs. Spain (Winner Group B), in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (10 am ET, Fox, Telemundo)

What should be most concerning is that Russia knew what it was up against but was helpless to stop La Celeste on all three goals, which came off set-pieces.

“In our training sessions, Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, "we played against these set-pieces and today our opponents scored from set-pieces. We wanted to stop this, but we could not succeed.”

Cherchesov also criticized his players for taking their foot off the pedal after two big wins against albeit weak opponents.

“It is an art to be prepared and not just think you are prepared,” he said. “We were not very successful at this in the beginning and we need to not be as relaxed as we were today.”

Group A ...
Thursday, June 14

Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0.
(Gazinskiy 12, Cheryshev 43, 90+1, Dzyuba 71, Golovin 90+4. Att.: 78,011.)
Friday, June 15

Uruguay 1 Egypt 0.
(Gimenez 89. Att.: 27,015.)
Tuesday, June 19
3 Egypt 1.
(Own goal 47, Cheryshev 59, Dzyuba 62; Salah pen. Att.: 64,468.)
Wednesday, June 20
Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0.
(Suarez 23. Att.: 42,678.)
Monday, June 25

0 Uruguay 3.
(Suarez 10, own goal 23, Cavani 90. Att.: 41,970.)

Saudi Arabia
2 Egypt 1.
(Al Faraj pen. 45+6, Al Dawsari 90+5; Salah 22. Att.: 36,823.)

Uruguay, 9 points (5-0)
2. Russia, 6 points (8-4)
3. Saudi Arabia, 3 points (2-7)
4. Egypt, 0 points (2-6)
In parentheses is goal difference.
1 comment about "Uruguay bursts Russia's bubble".
  1. humble 1, June 27, 2018 at 4:25 a.m.

    This game was played as a friendly, Russia rested Smolnov and they wanted to play their next and likely last game in Moscow.  Uruguay played 3 in back and started their new-gen midfield 5 - with Vecino at 26 the oldest.  Want to know how to develop young players for world cup?  Talk to Maestro Taberez.  Four years ago they were on empty in midfield - today - full.

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