Russia prepare for ‘match of a lifetime’ against Spain after satisfying fans

• Country has few illusions about beating Spain in last 16
• Group stage has been largely drama-free for World Cup hosts

The bell tolls for Russia, the country’s first national team to make the knockout stages, and to say the fans are fatalistic would be an understatement.

Sunday Stanislav Cherchesov’s side come up against Spain, a squad loaded with more star power than Moscow has seen in the past half-century. “At least we’ll go out against the best,” one fan said after Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat by Uruguay when Russia’s round-of-16 opponents were confirmed.

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