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Russia: Reasons for hope and areas for improvement

26.06.2017
  • The Confederations Cup hosts have been knocked out at the group stage
  • Despite the disappointment, performances left some cause for optimism

At the sound of the final whistle against Mexico, the Russia players slumped to the floor, before picking themselves up again and heading over to the stands to acknowledge the support. There were still plenty of Russian flags being waved, as the team applauded the crowd despite exiting the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 at the group stage.

Россия - Мексика

The backing from the fans was probably the most pleasing outcome for the Russian national team. The Opening Match in Saint Petersburg drew over 50,000 to the stadium was followed by a sell-out in Moscow (42,759) and the Kazan Arena was almost at full capacity yesterday (41,585). However much criticism the Sbornaya received in some quarters, their fans were still prepared to go to games and cheer them on, even after a painful defeat to Mexico in a game that was panning out perfectly until the 30th minute.

"We’ve tried to change how the fans view the team for the better and improve the atmosphere," said Aleksandr Erokhin, who provided the assist for the opener against El Tri. "Of course, we should have picked up some results along the way as well. We’ll continue to work on that.

"I thought we added something in every match. Psychologically we were very well prepared for these games. We left no stone unturned, but we just needed to take our chances and try to avoid any slip-ups, especially in a contest which was tantamount to a final for us. Minimising errors and scoring goals is what football is about.

"We need to analyse everything, both individually and together as a team, in order to draw our conclusions and move forward. All our efforts must be directed on preparing in the best way possible for the World Cup."

  • The Confederations Cup hosts have been knocked out at the group stage
  • Despite the disappointment, performances left some cause for optimism