Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Price: Russia the most impressive so far

Published:Thursday | June 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
Russia's Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Egypt .

National senior women's football team assistant coach Andrew Price has labelled host country Russia as the most impressive team six days into the FIFA World Cup.

Russia swamped Saudi Arabia 5-0 on last Thursday's opening day then beat Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday to ease to six points atop Group A and into pole position for a place in the last 16.

"Definitely, Russia have been the most impressive team at the World Cup so far. They have won both games in impressive fashion. Coming into the World Cup, they did not have the type of form to light up any stadium," Price, who is also coach of local club Boys' Town, told The Gleaner on Tuesday.

He added: "The home support has definitely played a big role. President Vladimir Putin has been supporting the team, and the players are motivated to do well for their country.

"I am not sure if they will go deep into the tournament, but definitely onto the knockout stage. How they play from there onwards would depend on the opposition they will face up against," he shared.

The former national player also said that Portugal's captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the player of the tournament so far after scoring an impressive hat-trick against 2010 World Cup champions Spain last Friday.

"The standout player for me must be Cristiano Ronaldo after one game. He definitely looks like he wants to carry Portugal on his back. Scoring three goals in the first game against a very good Spanish team must have lifted his confidence a lot. I believe that so far, he is the player of the tournament," he insisted.

 

Messi

 

Price added that Lionel Messi, who is yet to win a World Cup for Argentina, needs to relax and play without pressuring himself to perform.

"There is a lot of pressure on Lionel Messi's shoulders. He should try to take away a lot of the pressure by just playing his own game. I think that every time he comes on the world stage, he is under pressure to perform. Once he can get the support of his teammates, he will be okay for the rest of the tournament," he pointed out.