Russia is the champion! The rest – is not our business
Final of the Bandy World Championship 2016. Russia vs. Finland 6-1
Imagine, please, the following situation. You timed your holiday for football clasico against Real Madrid near the Mediterranean Sea in beloved by everyone Barcelona. You bought tickets to Camp Nou via Internet, prepared your package holiday, so now you are waiting for it. Holiday in Costa Brava, in itself, is wonderful. And when a cherry in the form of the epic confrontation of Barcelona against Real is added to this cake, you understand that life has been a success. And now you are sitting in plane looking forward to pleasure… But having arrived, you are informed that Barca will play against Espanyol or Atletico at best… The reasons are different. For instance, recently the Galacticos expelled themselves from Copa del Rey because of the situation with Cheryshev. A special correspondent of Realnoe Vremya's sports staff presents an on-the-sport report of the outcome of the Bandy World Championship.
The situation here in Ulyanovsk is the same. Russia and Sweden presented a play of great intensity in the group stage, and 8,000 lucky ticket owners saw 'the second part of the Ballet de la Merlaison' on Sunday, and the Swedish simply wimped out in the semifinal. And we were divested of the clasico. They cannot be blamed because it is sport…
The Finns trampled underfoot by the Swedish… and won
This semifinal made a surprising impression. It seemed that the Swedish were thinking about their own worries, for instance, how to defend in the final against Myaus' team, divest Lomanov and his company of the room of manoeuvre, beat and destroy the positional play of the Russians and how they managed to do it in the first rendezvous. It was the first and the last meeting in this unpredictable WC.
The Finns trampled underfoot by Swedish like pesky flies. They were good in defence, their netminder Virtanen worked wonders, they counterattacked, but the Swedish were convinced that now they would strain and brush 'the flies' away. Finland was not their format. They thought out of the box and looked like those who was correctly called 'academics with sticks' by Valery Gazzaev. They even failed to score a goal from a 12-metre spot. But it doesn't matter if we did not score now, we will do next time… Oh, no, never say never. It's a bummer on a planetary scale.
In the end all the programme broke. The Kazakhistani won four consecutive bronze medals and got a great chance to do it for the fifth time. In the match for the bronze medal, they played against a demoralized team that, by the way, did not want these beautiful bronze medals. The winners are those who did not want to win, but both teams were happy.
They hugged each other, exchanged the nets and sticks… All in all, winners all around.
What dream did Laakkonen fight for?
As to the final… You saw how the audience liked the great commentator of Match TV Mikhail Melnikov when he said that, 'I am just got lost in the number of goals scored,' at the end of the match of group stage of Sweden against Kazakhstan. So, he beautifully delivered all 'intrigue' of the final confrontation of Russia and Finland to the whole country. I don't know what dream the ageless guru Sami Laakkonen fought for, but this dream of the ex-nationals of the Russian Empire was alive only during 4 minutes – before Sergey Lomanov's goal.
What fans do have we! They came from all governorates and volosts, put valenki of Vyatka, felt papakhas of Kemerevo and sweaters of Baikak-Energia on and occupied all cafes near the stadium Trud. Then they stoically sweated a one kilometre line out in order to be in the arena. They supported our team, so that the players could not help but turning the golden ball into a demonstration of power and mastery of the national team of Russia! Everyone was happy, and the celebration moved into the streets of the glorious city on the Volga River, and the sky above Trud was lightened up with firework sheaves. After the victory of Russia in the final match, we met with Sami Laakkonen again. The question was clear: why did not you oppose the team of Russia?
'We had a plan for the match, two quick goals crossed it out. We had to revise it in a hurry, whereas the Russians were carried out, and it was difficult to stop them. Nevertheless, I think that we had some chances to change the game, but, in general, we did a quality job. We got silver medals, but it is sport. And I congratulate Myaus' team. I personally know some of his players. Everything is correct – the strongest team is the winner, but I don't feel ashamed for my team.'
What do you think Russia could win against Sweden playing as they did today?
I don't know. Each game is individual. There is no sense in comparing and presupposing. We also achieved a lot.
Did you watch the first game of Sweden against Russia?
We don't watch matches online but watch their records later. We had plans and hoped, but now there are no points in talking about it. Congratulations, Russia!
Pavel Bulatov: 'It is good that the third force interfered in our dispute with the Swedish.
The champion champagne is being poured in the locker room of the national team of Russia. Pavel Bulatov, one of the smartest and most highly skilled hockey players of Russia, the defender of SKA-Neftyanik and the national team of Russia, was my interlocutor:
Congratulations, Pavel! Was it a shock that you did not play with the leaders?
I won't make any secret of it, it was a surprise. The coaching staff had to rearrange, but, finally, thank God, everything worked.
What is your opinion about the Finns?
What can I say? They were good. They had intelligent tactics and did not let the Swedish catch their breath. It's interesting that the third force interfered in our dispute with the Swedish. It develops hockey.
Pavel, you are a skilled master, it is not your first gold medal. Doesn't it pall on?
Of course, it doesn't. Every time we experience new emotions and palette of feelings, match that resulted in gold, celebrations in the locker room like for the first time!
What can you say about the fans of Ulyanovsk?
Support is very important, and here it was on level. We saw that all country supported us, so, we could not disappoint them. Thank you!
The national team of Russia distressed for Dinamo-Kazan
In conclusion, we will mention one more point. Almar Mirgazov, the forward of the national team of Russia, one of the most talented hockey players of the new generation, asked to say to all fans of bandy that players of other clubs are distressed for collisions with Dinamo-Kazan and don't want this team to disappear from the horizon of bandy. To tell the truth, I did not expect such words from a person who has nothing to do with our city. It is truly touching. Thank you, Almaz, thanks to the national team! We wish you new victories! Merci, Lenin's motherland. You were lucky. Merci and poka!