Uruguay 3-0 Russia: 5 things we learned

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

It was back to reality for Russia on Monday. They had started the World Cup with vigour and energy, thrashing Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener before a convincing 3-1 win over Egypt.

But, it seems, they were helped by the relatively low quality of their opposition. Russia were faced with their first real test against Uruguay and failed it. 


Luis Suarez set the tone with an accurate free kick after just ten minutes and from there Uruguay were typically assured. The lead never looked likely to slip; Russia, who had been so fluid and creative in their previous games, were expertly restricted.

Even so, the hosts have still surpassed the expectations of many. There were doubts as to whether Russia would escape the group, whether they were capable even of winning a game. That they reached the knockout stages with a game to spare was an unanticipated bonus for those fans of a cynical nature.

They will be aware, though, that a significant improvement on this performance will be needed in the last 16 against Spain. Here are five things we learned from Russia's defeat to Uruguay: