SAMARA - The referee's whistle blew short and sharp, and for the 15,000 Russians fans at the Kuibyshev Square Fan Fest in Samara, it was like a stab to the heart.
For it meant that their nation's brave and unexpected run in the World Cup, all the way to the quarter-finals, had come to an end almost 2,000km away in Sochi. And the exit had been determined by one of the most cruel elements in sport - the dreaded penalty shootout.
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