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Russia Falls Short of World Cup Goal

19. November 2009 by James 0 Comments

Be it Russian women or men, all of Mother Russia is in a malaise today after Russia lost 1-0 to Slovenia.

The lost means that for a second straight time, Russia will not be in the World Cup.


The Russian team was confident after winning the first playoff game 2-1 Saturday night in Moscow. Slovenia knew since they scored an away goal, which is worth more points in a tie breaker, all they had to do was win at home in Maribor on Wednesday night and they would reach the 2010 World Cup finals.


That one goal gave Slovenia all the poise they needed to take it to the Russians. Coach Guus Hidddink’s side came out played very nervously and lacked confidence in their game. It showed by missed passes and a porous defense.


One of Russia’s best chances of the night happened in the first half when Andraz Kirm’s cross to Segei Iganshevich was misstruck and bounced off the post.


In the second half, it was all downhill for Russia. When in the 66th minute Alexander Kerzhakov was ejected for fouling Slovenia's goalkeeper Samir Handanovic on a dangerous challenge.  Then near the end of match, Yury Zhirkov was sent-off for with a second yellow card for  scuffling with Slovenia's reserve players near the bench.


Hiddink had led both the Netherlands and South Korea to the semifinals in previous World Cups, more than likely he not have his contract with the Russian Football Federation renewed at the end of the year.


As the final whistle blew, the small nation of 2 million, seemed to erupt in one joyous scream as Slovenia was going to their second ever World Cup.


For the favored Russians, they will join 178 other nations watching the 2010 World Cup from home and will be thinking ahead to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.