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F365 Says: Russia breeze past the perfect house guests - 8 months ago, 14 June 20:03

By: Daniel Storey

Russia would probably not have been competing at the 2018 World Cup were they not its hosts. Their World Cup record since 1990 is wretched, two group stage victories and three failed qualification campaigns. In 2014’s edition, they drew with South Korea and Algeria and lost to Belgium. By 2015, head coach Fabio Capello had been sacked at a reported cost of $35m.

More recent history was hardly more promising. A winless streak of seven matches included draws with Iran and Turkey and defeat to Austria, while a win against New Zealand accounted for Russia’s only points in last year’s Confederations Cup. The questions regarding this squad were being asked with finite rather than open-ended expectations: ‘Will they get through the group stage?’ rather than ‘How well will they do?’.

More generally, this is a country that enjoys football but succeeds at a far greater level in ice hockey, basketball and volleyball. ...
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Category: sports football

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