Our Boro-suppporting World Cup diarist – Monsieur Salut’s nephew, Andy Falconer – changes city. After revealing in the beauty of St Petersburg, he headed for Moscow. His 2018 tournament will soon enough be over – that pass-out from Sarah back home is about to expire – and he has now caught his last stadium game (see footnote for quick thoughts on the end of Morocco’s hopes)* and is returning to St Petersburg to fly home.

Here a few of his Moscow reflections. See earlier jottings at this link


Cosmonaut Museum (really cool), lunch with some American/Aussie lads, Gorky Park (beautifully curated, plus Gorgonzola ice cream.

Load of whopping, big statutes AND the small matter of Russia vs Egypt at the FanFest (maybe my second longest queue – how British…).

On Monday it was great to watch England from my new base, Moscow.

I think there’s a playful rivalry towards us here but nothing sinister. Plenty of Russians are keen to test their English or just be friendly.

But as great as it was to watch England, and see them win, there was something special about watching Russia play last night.

It took hours to get in to the FanFest and I’m not sure the police worked out the logistics well.

It wasn’t as long as waiting for a Boro cup final ticket but it was packed.

With several thousand of us hoping we’d actually get through security, and the teams lining up, lots of mobiles with live streaming were lofted.

Eventually we did get in. What an atmosphere!

Russia will come undone against a big side. They start nervous but become fluent and ambitious once ahead. Their fans mirror that.

So much fun to celebrate another good win with them!

Yesterday was long. Got my last game tonight. Then straight back to St Petersburg before my flight home.

* So, got to my last game, Morocco vs Portugal. Unlucky, Morocco! They pushed and pushed. Their fans and most neutrals urged them on. In the end they just didn’t have enough edge to get back level. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea but we all got to see one of the greats score at the Luzhniki. Life is hard, y’know?

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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