FIFA World Cup 2018: Joy of football, Russia aren't that bad!

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New Delhi:

In the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, the host nation Russia defied critics and exceeded expectations by easing past Egypt by 3-1 on Tuesday by assuring their place in the last 16 for the first time in the World Cup since the Soviet era. 

The Russians have found a knack of scoring goals and have struck eight times in jsut two matches, hence lifting the spirits of the home fans, who in turn have inspired the players on the pitch.

"We waited a very long time for this," said Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov.

Russia's football team have now been under the shadows of nation's ice hockey sides and Olympic legends, whose victories have long been a source of huge national pride.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he expected Russia to lift he World Cup trophy while securing the hosting rights. But he arguably had to say that.

President Putin was being wildly optimistic as Russia approached the World Cup as the lowest-ranked nation, down at 70th in the FIFA rankings.

They were winless in seven games before the opener, with almost their entire defence out with injuries.

Russia managed just one shot on target in their last two warm-ups and were getting whistled off the pitch by the frustrated supporters.

But it was Russia who ripped up the form book and performed miracle when the entire nation was preparing for the worst.

They scored five goals past Saudi Arabia, with two-goals from the re-emerged Denis Cheryschev, before limiting Egypt's megastar forward Mohamed Salah to just one goal from a penalty kick in their second game on Tuesday to all but secure a spot in the last 16.

Russian fans who had no hopes before the World Cup were at first surprised after the scintillating performace against Saudi Arabia, but after the game against Egypt, they are believing on their boys to go as far as possible in FIFA's showpiece event. 

Well, football is all about surprises and at this World Cup, Russia have shown the world why it is so! 

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