By 90Min
June 26, 2018

Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov was magnanimous in defeat after his side were hammered 3-0 by Uruguay in their final FIFA World Cup Group A match on Monday. 

Goals from Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani - either side of a luckless Denis Cheryshev own goal - condemned Russia to second place in the group.

Speaking after the game, and quoted by Russia Today, Cherchesov acknowledged that the Uruguayans were far superior to the Russians' previous World Cup opponents, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. "Uruguay is a team on another level," he said, explaining: "Today the speed was different and the characteristics of the opponent were different."

However, without detracting from Uruguay's performance, Cherchesov had some harsh words for his own side's undisciplined display - particularly Igor Smolnikov's dismissal for a second bookable offence in the first half.

The 54-year-old lamented: "It was difficult to begin with, and we made it worse because of our own mistakes and the red card.

"Even though we had ten men we wanted to play. That’s a plus. The minus is that we can’t allow ourselves to start like that."

Seeing as the Russians' next match will be against Group B winners Spain in the round of 16 on Sunday, it's difficult to disagree with their manager's assessment. 

Nevertheless, Cherchesov did manage to gain some positives from his side's defeat against Uruguay, which many would regard as a reality check after easy wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

EMMANUEL DUNAND/GettyImages

In particular, he sounded optimistic that his players might learn valuable lessons from their mistakes against the South Americans: "From one side, it’s bad that we lost, from another, that kind of slap is useful sometimes," he said.

When Russia take on Spain on Sunday, Cherchesov will find out just how useful it was.

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