July 3, 2018 / 10:12 AM / 16 days ago

Russia's Samedov trains alone ahead of Croatia match

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia midfielder Aleksandr Samedov trained alone on Tuesday ahead of the World Cup hosts’ quarter-final against Croatia.

World Cup - Round of 16 - Spain vs Russia - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 1, 2018 Russia's Aleksandr Samedov reacts during the match REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The Russians caused a major upset when they edged past 2010 world champions Spain on penalties on Saturday to reach the last eight.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Round of 16 - Spain vs Russia - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 1, 2018 Russia's Aleksandr Samedov with coach Stanislav Cherchesov after being substituted off REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Samedov took part in a brief team discussion with coach Stanislav Cherchesov at the squad’s base on the outskirts of Moscow before undergoing fitness tests and running through an individual training programme.

The 33-year-old has been a key player for Cherchesov’s team at the tournament, playing in all three group matches and the 4-3 penalties win over Spain in the round of 16.

The hosts will be without injured midfielder Yuri Zhirkov against Croatia.

Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, have reached the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in the post-Soviet era.

Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond

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