Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov has said his team’s 3-0 defeat to Uruguay could have a silver lining for the players moving forward at their home World Cup.
Going into the game in Samara, Russia and Uruguay had already qualified for the World Cup knockout stage having both won their opening two Group A games.
In the event, Uruguay secured top spot in the group with a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani, and an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev.
The hosts also saw Igor Smolnikov sent off for a second yellow card on 35 minutes.
After the defeat, Cherchesov lamented the mistakes he felt had gifted Uruguay the win, but also tried to take the positives from the game.
“It was a difficult match because we made it difficult,” Cherchesov said, according to championat.ru.
“It was difficult to begin with, and we made it worse because of our own mistakes and the red card.
“It was difficult to play with ten men, we made changes, strengthened the center, and brought on another forward to try to score,” Cherchesov added.
Russia won their opening games 5-0 against Saudi Arabia and 3-1 against Egypt, but came up against an altogether different prospect in the experienced South Americans.
Despite the comprehensive scoreline, Cherchesov felt he could positives from the result in Samara.
“Even though we had 10 men we wanted to play. That’s a plus. The minus is that we can’t allow ourselves to start like that.
“From one side, it’s bad that we lost, from another, that kind of slap is useful sometimes. We will wait to see who gets into the last 16.
“Uruguay is a team on another level. Through this game we prepared for the next one. Today the speed was different and the characteristics of the opponent were different.”
By finishing second, Russia booked a last 16 game at the 80,000 Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which was the scene of their opening day rout of the Saudis.
They will face the winners of Group B, which contains Spain and Portugal.