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2014 World Cup Aftermath: Russia’s Epic Exit

2014 World Cup Aftermath: Russia’s Epic Exit

After failing to qualify in the 2010 World Cup, Russia made a grand comeback. Sadly, their blunders in the Group Stage eclipsed their victorious return.

 

Recap

When Russia’s first match ended in a draw, it served as a premonition of their impending exit in the competition. The result was unexpected. Russia is one of the promising dark horses of the 2014 World Cup. An early exit is quite embarrassing. Unfortunately, the squad still has a hang-over from its mediocre performance against South Korea. Belgium thrashed them and Algeria, stole the spotlight away from them.

 

Where it went wrong

There are several factors, which contribute to Russia’s demise in Brazil. Its exit is not born out of pure accident, but rather, a plethora of shortcomings that were ignored.

 

First off, Roman Shirikov’s absence made it difficult for the squad to rotate the ball and come closer to the pitch. This gave them limited scoring opportunities and had to be content with a draw, not just once, but twice.

 

Since Shirikov was the team captain, the squad readily missed a strong presence in the field—a presence that could act as Fabio Capello’s right hand. Moreover, Capello’s decision to delegate the captaincy a day before their match, failed to give Vasily Berezutsky enough time to prepare for the role.

 

The blunders of its goalkeeper, Igor Afinkeev were also instrumental to Russia’s ouster. They could have taken the first step, if not for that disappointing mistake. He was also responsible for giving Algeria the chance to equalize and therefore, threw them out of the competition.

 

Lastly, it cannot be denied that Capello—the perceived  mastermind and architect of Russia’s rise fell short in his tactics and approaches. They are one of the group’s world cup bettingfavorite, alongside with Belgium. Instead, they performed as mere push-overs in the competition.

 

Onward to 2018

Despite its easy exit, Capello remains as the squad’s head honcho. Some may defend him for improving the squad. Yet, it seemed that the improvement barely showed.

 

With their dismal exit in Brazil, Russia should reconsider their decision to keep Capello.

 

 
 
 
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Image Source: O.Canada

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