Saturday, 21 July, 2018


Russian Federation salutes 'heroes' after Croatia ends World Cup dream

Meeting Putin will be Trump's toughest test Getty Images
Bennie Garza | 09 July, 2018, 23:20

US President Donald Trump insisted Thursday he will be "prepared" for his upcoming meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, joking about journalists who question his lack of experience.

"[Putin] watched, he was rooting for the team". We will have to do something with our players to play against them and individually our players will have to play well'. "They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Peskov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Entering the World Cup as the lowest ranked team in the tournament by Federation Internationale de Football Association, it all started in such marvellous fashion for Russia as Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin shone in that opening game against Saudi Arabia just over three weeks ago.

Croatia prevailed from the spot after misses from Fyodor Smolov and Mario Fernandes, whose dramatic extra-time equaliser had forced the shootout, saw Russian Federation bid farewell with their heads held high and having wildly exceeded expectations. "We have succeeded I believe, but it is time to take a step forward".

'I will not focus on one player in the Croatia team because the Croatian team is playing great and I can not say one player is better than the others, ' he said.

Croatia went on to beat Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties after an emotionally draining quarter-final game yesterday.

"I might even end up having a good relationship" with Putin, said the real estate mogul, who also denounced "75 percent" of journalists as "downright dishonest".

The disappointment of defeat late on Saturday soon melted into applause as fans toasted a national side that had repeatedly defied expectations. Thank you for everything! Fans spilling out of bars chanted "Russia", dancing in the street and singing along as music blared.

"We knew from the first second, I knew where we were heading".

Some 15,000 people converged in Zagreb's main square, where the "match of a generation" had been shown on a large screen.

The hosts' surprise progress to the quarter-final has ramped up the hopes of home fans but Cherchesov insists - aside from taking calls from the president - he is trying to steer clear of the hype. You can't have everything straight away. "It was a very dignified game", Evgenia, 36, a psychologist, said.

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