Russia: Reasons for Hope and Areas for Improvement

first_img At the sound of the final whistle against Mexico, the Russia players slumped to the floor, before picking themselves up again and heading over to the stands to acknowledge the support. There were still plenty of Russian flags being waved, as the team applauded the crowd despite exiting the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 at the group stage.The backing from the fans was probably the most pleasing outcome for the Russian national team. The Opening Match in Saint Petersburg drew over 50,000 to the stadium was followed by a sell-out in Moscow (42,759) and the Kazan Arena was almost at full capacity yesterday (41,585).However much criticism the Sbornaya received in some quarters, their fans were still prepared to go to games and cheer them on, even after a painful defeat to Mexico in a game that was panning out perfectly until the 30th minute.“We’ve tried to change how the fans view the team for the better and improve the atmosphere,” said Aleksandr Erokhin, who provided the assist for the opener against El Tri. “Of course, we should have picked up some results along the way as well. We’ll continue to work on that.“I thought we added something in every match. Psychologically we were very well prepared for these games. We left no stone unturned, but we just needed to take our chances and try to avoid any slip-ups, especially in a contest which was tantamount to a final for us. Minimising errors and scoring goals is what football is about.“We need to analyse everything, both individually and together as a team, in order to draw our conclusions and move forward. All our efforts must be directed on preparing in the best way possible for the World Cup.”Aleksandr Samedov, who scored Russia’s goal against Mexico, agreed with his team-mate: “Of course, these games weren’t in vain. This is a major tournament, held on home soil. I want to say a massive ‘thank-you’ to the fans for their amazing support and creating such a great atmosphere.“One positive is the way we built play, especially in the third match. It clearly didn’t work out completely for us, but there were some positive moments that will help the team move in the right direction. We created five or six good chances apart from the goal; it’s just a shame we didn’t manage to take at least one of them.”The squad returned to Moscow immediately after the game and are now on a short holiday ahead of arguably the most important season in Russian football history.“I’m not thinking about the World Cup just yet,” Samedov admitted to in conclusion, “because we’ve only just finished this big tournament. We’re disappointed but we’ll move on. There’s an important year ahead for the Russian national team. We need to draw the right conclusions and move in the right direction.”  Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Follow live: Syracuse beats Boston College, 75-61

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Tipp football boss says they need to ‘step it up’

first_imgTipperary are ‘going to have to step up an awful lot’ if they’re to have a chance of beating Cork in the Munster Senior Football Semi-Final.That the verdict of Premier County boss Liam Kearns, whose side set up a meeting with the Rebels by beating Waterford yesterday.The match will take place at Semple Stadium in just under two weeks. Liam Kearns says Tipp will have their work cut out to win.last_img

Subway, bus fares doubling?

first_imgBefore the MTA board can implement the increases, public hearings will have to be held. And although fares haven’t been raised since 1988, those who rely on buses and subways are sure to raise objections. Under the proposal, the cost of a day pass, which allows unlimited rides on MTA buses and subways, would increase by about 66 percent in just under two years – from $3 currently to $5 in July and $8 in 2009. Weekly passes would increase 128 percent – from $14 to $20 to $32. And monthly passes would jump nearly 130 percent, from $53 to $75 to $120. Senior citizens would see their monthly passes jump a whopping 400 percent – from $12 currently to $37.50 in July and $60 in January 2009. With 1.2 million daily boardings on MTA buses and 124,000 boardings on its subways, the fare increases are sure to have wide-ranging impact. Bus and subway fares for most riders would more than double by 2009 under a plan unveiled Friday by MTA officials, who are struggling to close a stubborn budget gap. The two-tier plan would bump up the cost of daily, weekly and monthly passes in July and again in January 2009. Individual fares would jump only once, in 2009, for passengers who pay cash for a one-way trip. The proposal comes as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority considers cutting some bus routes and streamlining others. CEO Roger Snoble said the agency simply can’t pay rising fuel costs and eliminate a looming $1.8 billion deficit by fare increases alone. “We are heading toward a cliff,” Snoble said in an interview. “And if we don’t do something, we will fall off that cliff.” Rachel Thompson, 24, a Texas native who has to stretch her paycheck from a minimum-wage job to pay for food and rent, worries how she’ll pay the higher cost of public transportation. “I don’t know how people make it here in California,” Thompson said as she waited for the bus. But Burbank resident Robert Brooks was more sympathetic, saying public transportation is a better deal – even if fares rise – than paying skyrocketing prices at the gas pump. “You just have to suck it up,” Brooks said. “It still costs less than when I had a car.” MTA officials said the fare hikes will bring those in Los Angeles in line with those in other major cities. In New York, for instance, a one-way bus or subway ride costs $2, while a day pass costs $7 and a monthly pass costs $76. And commuters in Chicago pay $2 for a one-way ride, $5 for a day pass and $75 for a monthly ticket. Terry Matsumoto, the MTA’s chief financial officer, noted that the agency had been prohibited from raising fares under a 1996 consent decree that forced it to invest $1.3 billion to improve bus service. A federal judge ruled last October 2006 that the MTA had improved its service sufficiently to allow the consent decree to expire. The Bus Riders Union – an advocacy group whose lawsuit against the MTA triggered the consent decree – has appealed the judge’s decision and asked that the decree be reinstated. BRU spokesman Manuel Criollo also decried the proposed fare hikes. “We think it strikes at the heart of the struggle for civil-rights enforcement that we’ve been fighting for the last 12 years,” Criollo said. But MTA officials and some transportation advocates say the consent decree’s mandates are a major reason for the transit agency’s budget woes. “We believe that any reasonable plan to bring fares back in line with reality is the best thing for Metro to do,” said Kymberleigh Richards, public affairs director for Southern California Transit Advocates, a nonprofit group that focuses on the improvement of public transportation. (818) 713-3746160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more