Tigers in the cage!
Russian newspapers have devoted a lot of space to Croatia’s victory and place in the finals of the World Cup. The reactions are mostly positive, although more neutral articles can also be found.
The most popular sports daily “Sport Express” writes, under the headline “Croatia in the Finals”, that Croatia was an outsider, but outsiders sometimes can win, although that happens more often at the European Football Championships rather than at the World Cup. “In the first half, Croats played badly. Croatia started the match with its usual players. It developed its play, but it did not have enough quality players on the bench,” explains a Sport Express journalist.
Another article says that the scandal with Vukojević and Vida did not do any good for the Croatian team. The major headline is “Football Will Not Come Home”. “At the start of the match, Russian fans did not whistle against Vida, but after they recognized him, they expressed their dissatisfaction,” concludes a Sport Express journalist.
The daily “Soviet Sport” published the headline “Tigers in the Cage” on the cover. Russian think that Croatian jerseys look like a cage. The article says that England dominated the first half, but something changed in the second. Perišić made cuts in the English defense, and he started “hacking” it. One sub-headline says “Rebellion of Perišić”. At the very end, the journalist concludes that this caused “the death of the Englishmen” and that they were guilty because they had ruined a game they were supposed to win.
“The Croatians simply put a noose around the English neck. These guys do not dream, they simply score goals at the very end. And that is why these risk-takers will play in the finals,” says Soviet Sport.
The Russian web portal Eurosport published a major headline that France will pay back the debt from 1998. Other Russian news agencies have published headlines like “Exhaustive Wrestling Match”, with the emphasis that Croats will play in the World Cup finals for the first time in history. They say that the English were fresh, while Perišić was a ubiquitous savior.
The well-known newspaper Izvestia published an article titled Croatian Spirit, in which it says that the Croatian team completely won the match. The English started to play defensively in the second half, and Croats immediately punished them.