June 25, 2018 / 6:03 PM / 8 months ago

Cherchesov disappointed by Russia's set-piece meltdown

SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was left disappointed that his team conceded all three goals from set-pieces in their 3-0 World Cup Group A loss to Uruguay on Monday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Uruguay vs Russia - Samara Arena, Samara, Russia - June 25, 2018 Uruguay's Luis Suarez scores their first goal with a free-kick REUTERS/David Gray

As well as Luis Suarez’s early free kick, Russia also game away two goals from corners as the World Cup hosts failed to secure top spot in Group A.

“When you commit errors, I believe you give an opportunity to your opponent,” Cherchesov told reporters.

“In our training sessions we played against these set-pieces and today our opponents scored from set-pieces. We wanted to stop this but we could not succeed.”

Cherchesov also criticised his players for not being well prepared mentally.

“Training sessions are one thing and then on the pitch is another thing. It is an art to be prepared and not just think you are prepared,” he said.

“We were not very successful at this in the beginning and we need to not be as relaxed as we were today.”

Cherchesov can still take positives from the match into their last-16 game against the Group B winners - either Spain, Portugal or Iran to be decided after Monday’s later fixtures.

“I said already that Uruguay has top-notch players. We have good players too, some are better than theirs,” he said.

“I am pleased with my players as after we lost a player, we were aggressive and showed we were real men.”

The coach did not seem too downbeat, even asking the reporters in the room for a round of applause, and is looking forward to the last-16 game at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, where Russia play the majority of their matches.

“Luzhniki stadium is my stadium. I love it,” Cherchesov said. “We do not have the word problem in our vocabulary. Everybody is ready.”

Reporting by Jack Tarrant, editing by Ed Osmond

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