FIFA World Cup 2018: Fernando Hierro makes himself Spain's villain
Their supporters invaded the Red Square and all parts of Moscow following another unthinkable win
What was suffering for the Spanish, a joy to celebrate for the hosts Russia. Their supporters invaded the Red Square and all parts of Moscow following another unthinkable win.
People with flags of Russia had their heads out of the car singing "Ru-ss-ia", "Ru-ss-ia". The Red Army had beaten another reds, the "La Roja", in an unequal battle with sheer determination to set up quarter-final clash against Croatia in Sochi.
The hosts were superb in defending their goal, sitting deep. Their coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, said: "That was a painful decision. But there was no other way to play Spain. Even after beating them, I acknowledge that they are a far superior side than us. We had to use this particular structure just to deny them. If we went after them, we would not have fared so well."
His tactic was simple against Spain's tiki-taka. Russia started with 5-4-1 and soon became 9-1, even 10-0. But they did not allow Spain to score a goal. The one goal in Spain's credit was an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich.
Spanish coach Fernando Hierro took the blame for defeat. Even he was reluctant to make the federation responsible for appointing him as head coach 48-hours before the World Cup when former manager Julen Lopetegui was sacked for accepting an offer to coach Real Madrid. "I was appointed the head coach and I took the role since I thought it was a necessity. I am to be blamed for the defeat. We had wonderful players who played at their best, but you cannot do much when the opposite team plays 5-4-1 and everybody are behind the ball all the time. Tiebreakers are a lottery and we were unlucky. But we are leaving this World Cup without being defeated. So, we all are suffering", said Hierro.
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