The fairytale is over: Russian fans react with dismay to Uruguay defeat
The host nation may have made it to the knockout stages but the heavy defeat to Uruguay has deflated home the expectations of moving much further with Spain barring their route on Sunday
When Russias comedown ultimately came, it played to a full house. Tens of thousands of Russians turned out on a work day to the Fifa Fan Fest in Moscow for a familiar scene: Russia playing like Russia.
And the Russians knew the script. I knew this was going to happen when we came up against a real foe, said Ilya Kabanov, 19, a university student. It was a bit like a fairytale. The fairytale is over.
Run! screamed one humankind before delivering an unprintable torrent of mistreat at Stanislav Cherchesovs side. It did not aid. Russia lost 3-0 and had Igor Smolnikov sent off. We have once again ascertained the Russian team we knew before the Football world cup: toothless, powerless, good for nothing, wrote Alexey Pushkov, a lawmaker who usually aims his venom at the west.
It was a reality check for a Russian squad that had made an auspicious start. Successive wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, in which they scored eight purposes, had convinced the normally sceptical Russian public that this year could be different. Maybe hosting a World Cup would work its magic.
And so Russians, who spent much of the run-up to the tournament discrediting the team, came out in droves to applaud them on. The Fan Fest, nuclear-weapon-free zones with a 140 -metre screen and a panoramic view of the iconic Moscow State University, became so popular that Fifa eventually proposed onlookers go to watch the game somewhere else, like a bar.
There will be no queues for drinkings and food, and the atmosphere of unity and intense football ardour is just as good as in open-air fan regions, Nikolai Gulyaev, head of Moscows sport and tourism department, told Reuters.
To call them fairweather fans would not do the day justice. The sunshine was brilliant and the mood was like a city picnic for all moms with buggies, a group of sales administrators who got out of run early, fresh-faced students on summer holiday, households, migrant workers, humen with tattooed thighs and imperial flags, young woman mugging for selfies and a smattering of the foreigners who have transformed Moscow in recent months.
But this was a decidedly Russian affair, a steady marching toward defeat that should have seemed so obvious that it is a wonder why anyone dared to hope at all.
The main thing we forgot is that this is Russia, mentioned Roman Krasinsky, 18, smoking behind one of the working party tents out at the back.
Edik, who carried a ukulele, tried to talk his pal Roman and their classmates Olesya and Ksenia into leaving early in the second half to get-up-and-go booze with friends.
This is boring, he argued.
Then what did we come here for? It had taken them a half-hour to get in. They decided it with rock, paper, scissors. Then Roman reneged. Im staying, he told, walking away.
It was something like a national moment of flagellation. In a Moscow courtroom the anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny watched the game on a MacBook before having his suspended sentence for fraud extended( he mentions it is politically motivated ).
Vladimir Putin hop-skip the match, his press secretary told journalists, because he was too busy.
Unfortunately he cant[ attend] because of his working schedule, Dmitry Peskov told. He may have chosen the right moment to get by. It was Putin who smiled his style through Russias 5-0 succes over Saudi Arabia, leaning to shake the hand of his guest Mohammed bin Salman.
It may be better that Russia received this wake-up bellow before the knockout stages, at a few moments when they can take a punch and perhaps regain before encountering some of this tournaments premier teams.
Were going to get Spain, said one fan, burying his head in his hands at the prospect of the now supported meeting with the Group B wins and 2010 champions at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. At least well go out against the best.