World Cup: Russia Fails Final Group Test

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Russia has fallen at the last hurdle of their World Cup group campaign with a 3-0 loss to Uruguay on Monday.

It was an unconvincing performance from the home team who will undoubtedly be hoping to bounce back in the Round of 16 as the loss confirms their second-place finish in Group A.

Russia lacked any real urgency or danger to threaten the South American side ranked 14th in the world. It was clear from the outset Uruguay had come to play as Barcelona favourite Luis Suárez kicked a sizzling free from the fringes of the goalbox to get the scorecard underway in the 10th minute.

Thirteen minutes later and Denis Cheryshev proved he is still in goal-scoring form, although not as he would have hoped. The Villarreal CF left-winger scored an own-goal after deflecting a strike into the back of his team’s net. The goal is his fourth for the tournament (kind of).

An errant slide tackle soon left the home team with only 10-men and adequately rounded out a horror first half of football. A poor illegal challenge from Igor Smolnikov saw the defender sent from the field in the 36th minute.

Things did not improve after the break. Uruguay managed 16 shots to Russia’s three throughout the match, with only one of Russia’s shots troubling the keeper. Uruguay’s consistent attack proved successful once again in the 9oth minute with Edinson Cavani closing out the match.

Uruguay is undoubtedly a quality opponent and perhaps that is where Russia struggled. After eight goals in its matches against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Russia showed no offensive danger against Uruguay and its sturdy defence. Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov will be struggling to find positives from the match, with the only obvious takeaway being a lack of injuries.

The match solidifies the Group A rankings with Uruguay and Russia set to progress into the next round. Egypt finish at the bottom of the group following a surprise 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.

Russia will continue its World Cup campaign on July 1 when they will play the hotly-fancied Spain.

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