Home / Euro 2016 / Russia vs Slovakia a few quick thoughts

Russia vs Slovakia a few quick thoughts

  • It may not have been the most appealing game on paper but England and Wales fans will have had a vested interest in this encounter what with qualification out of Group B very much in the balance
  • The match had a feeling of a night game what with the roof being closed, it may have looked a little bewildering at times but you can’t say it had too much effect on either side
  • It’s fair to say the match took a little while to get going, the first 25 minutes or so there was nothing really of note to write home about
  • But as the first half progressed the game started to open up and it was Russia who had the best of what few chances there were
  • Igor Smolnikov who started at Right Back was surging forward at every opportunity and almost playing as a winger, the fact that he was so advanced meant that Vladimir Weiss was getting very little joy going in the opposite direction
  • But it was one of Smolnikov’s forward surges that were to be Russia’s undoing.
  • A well weighted pass by Marek Hamsik landed at the feet of Weiss, Smolnikov was well out of position and although he made the ground back the dummy from Weiss sold him down the river and once cutting inside Weiss slammed his finish past Akinfeev to put Slovakia ahead
  • Slovakia were in the ascendency now and they were in cruise control when Hamsik doubled their advantage just before half time
  • Just before the break he received a short corner out wide before firing a shot in off the post
  • An excellent goal to light up any lead and Slovakia were comfortably ahead at half time
  • Russia again looked lethargic and you do have to wonder how they managed to get a point from their encounter with England
  • Artem Dzyuba once again had a fruitless match, he again cut a lone figure in attack with the midfield failing to provide the ammunition needed
  • That said Denis Glushakov did head home with 10 minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish but the Russian’s couldn’t find the goal which would again have given them a share of the points
  • Slovakia now top the group for 24 hours at least and know that a win against England would secure qualification to the Round of 16
  • While Russia know they have to get a win against Wales to have any chance of progression
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