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Russia’s national football team trained by Hollander Dick Advocat left ingloriously the European Football championship on June 17. The team was defeated 0:1 by the national team of Greece which was considered to be an outsider of the group. Georgios Kragunis scored following a mistake of Sergei Ignashevich during the additional time of the first period. Media discuss the national team’s future.
The European championship, which began for the Russian team so wonderfully that it seemed it may be a favourite along with other grandees, ended as a failure, the Kommersant writes. The final group game’s 0:1 defeat in from Greeks, who seemed several day earlier as an easy competitor for Russians, kicked the national team from the tournament and brought the team back to the middle level. The problems in relations with Polish fans and the behaviour of own fans, following which the Russian Football Union and the team were liable for major penalties, added to disappointments.
The RBC daily believes “self-confidence failed Russia.” Formerly, our competitors were teams like Germany or Spain, and at those times we used to be expecting a play-off like a miracle. But as a miracle did not happen we agreed everything was fair, a winner is stronger. Russia’s team was a favourite in that quartet – in ratings of FIFA and UEFA, and in the game itself. A play-off seemed so evident, that to the very beginning of the tournament we analysed cautiously Group B guessing who would be best for us during a quarter-final – Germany or Holland. The Czech and Polish did not cause any fears, we were supposed to win with hands tied behind back.
The game with Greece became a sorrowful swansong for the team’s coach Dick Advocat, the Novye Izvestia writes. However, after the game the coach tried to remain positive. “I believe, we played rather well,” the official site of the Russian Football Union quoted Advocat as saying. “We tried to attack, and the other team was only defending. It is elementary: we have missed a goal and could not score back. It was very difficult in the second period to play with the team like Greece.”
Football fans have spotted an interesting tendency: Dick Advocat is known to take a place of another Hollander Guus Hiddink, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports. And quite usually he demonstrates a result worse than that of his predecessor.
Frankly speaking, the failure could be foreseen, the newspaper writes. Simply based on how the Russian team prepared for the championship and how it played there. Usually teams, ranking high, demonstrate progress during a tournament. But Russians gave worse impression with every game. Before EURO they showed a wonderful victory in the game with Italy. Later on, was a similarly convincing defeat of the Czech. However, then came a strange game with the Polish, where after the break the team could barely move and simply walked across the field. It was clear already then that the physical state was going down, and no heroism was to be expected in the quarter-final. But it happened so that the oldest team of the championship ended games even earlier. Russians were not able to draw the game with Greeks.