MOSCOW: Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has forecast that the national team will go even further in four years’ time at the World Cup than they managed in front of their own fans writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Sbornaja were edged out of the 2018 finals 4-3 in a penalty shootout in Sochi on Saturday night by Croatia after a 2-2 extra-time draw. Croatia go on to face England in the semi-finals at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday. Belgium meet France in Tuesday’s other semi-final in St Petersburg.

Russian returned to the capital to meet their supporters at the fan fest.

Cherchesov, the former international goalkeeper who took over from Leonid Slutsky after the first round failure at the 2016 European Championship in France, told the fans: “You were our 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th players. We to go even further for you but, unfortunately, we could not quite manage it.

“However, in four years’ time at the finals in Qatar, we will do better even though, without you all, it will be difficult. We felt the support of our fans from the first game and tried to harness it. We played for you, heart and soul.

“Of course, we were happy to progress beyond the group stage. We wanted to extend this fairy tale but a penalty shootout is a lottery. We beat Spain but then this time we lost. We wanted more, this is football, it happens.”