Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov bemoans set piece frailties vs. Uruguay

Jo Caldwell
June 28, 2018

Both teams will find out their last 16 opponents later this evening, with Uruguay set to play the Group B runners-up, and Russian Federation the Group B winners.

In the day's dead rubber Saudi Arabia got their first win of the tournament with a 2 - 1 over Egypt.

A song by comedian Semyon Slepakov went viral just before the tournament, poking fun at Russia's poor form and suggesting players needed Chechnya's authoritarian leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, as coach for extra motivation.

It was heart-breaking for Cheryshev, who scored twice in the 5-0 trouncing of Saudi Arabia in the opening game.

Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira made his first start of the World Cup.

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Uruguay's central defender Jose Gimenez did not attend the training session due to an injury sustained in one of the two previous group stage matches of the world championship. "No matter what the current situation looks like, but we will be playing tomorrow in exactly the same manner". The only other team at the tournament without a yellow is Iceland.

Uruguay, however, is a much more skilled team than Russia's first two opponents. But Uruguay - ranked No. 14 in the world - posed a far greater challenge to the hosts. The undefeated teams play Monday in Samara for the top spot in their group, with both already assured a spot in the knockout round.

In their wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Russia's midfielders ran further and harder than nearly anyone else at the World Cup.

Things didn't start well for Russian Federation, with Luis Saurez firing in a low free-kick with only 10 minutes on the clock.

It's obviously what we wanted, we wanted to keep growing throughout the World Cup and after winning two matches 1-0, today we wanted to do even better.

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Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez recently said his side hadn't lived up their potential so far and they responded perfectly as Suarez temporarily silenced the home support with an expertly taken freekick early on, which he had been practising during the warm-up, from the edge of the area into the near corner. The FIFA World Cup™ is always decided by fine margins, so an advantage such as finishing as group winners rather than runners-up can potentially be a crucial factor in the long run.

Portugal and Spain - who face Iran and already eliminated Morocco respectively later on Monday - are likely to await these sides in the knockout stages, with Uruguay's victory meaning they will face the side who finish second in Group B.

Uruguay beat hosts Russian Federation 3-0 to end the group as toppers. La Celeste pride themselves on their tactical nous and cohesion from back to front.

After the break, Russia's 10 men composed themselves and at least managed to wrest back some control of the match, with Uruguay always looking risky but perhaps happy to concede possession and protect their lead.

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