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Shirokov efforts in vain as Russia bow out

Published: Sunday 17 June 2012, 0.12CET
Though Russia exited UEFA EURO 2012 after their 1-0 loss to Greece, it was not for the want of trying by Roman Shirokov, who finished top of the Castrol EDGE Index.
Shirokov efforts in vain as Russia bow out
Roman Shirokov (left) keeps a close eye on Greece striker Giorgos Samaras ©Getty Images
 
Published: Sunday 17 June 2012, 0.12CET

Shirokov efforts in vain as Russia bow out

Though Russia exited UEFA EURO 2012 after their 1-0 loss to Greece, it was not for the want of trying by Roman Shirokov, who finished top of the Castrol EDGE Index.

On a night when his team were eliminated from UEFA EURO 2012 by a herculean defensive display from Greece, Roman Shirokov could have done little more to aid Russia's efforts to reach the quarter-finals.

The 30-year-old, playing on the right of a three-man midfield, was one of the driving forces behind Dick Advocaat's team's attempts to unlock a watertight Greece rearguard, topping the Castrol EDGE Index with a rating of 9.24 for his endeavours.

His highly respectable pass completion rate of 75% and effective ball-winning presence in the middle of the National Stadium Warsaw pitch contributed to his mark, though it was his shooting for which he attained greatest reward.

Shirokov hinted why he had scored three times in his last three outings for Russia – not to mention a career-best nine league goals for FC Zenit St Petersburg in 2011/12 – with four shots. This was a match-high total also registered by team-mates Igor Denisov and Alan Dzagoev and third in Index value terms behind Andrey Arshavin and match winner Giorgos Karagounis.

Shirokov and Zenit colleague Denisov were responsible for three of the five saves made by Greece goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis, who finished second with 9.04. Denisov's frequency of passing – he executed 105 – ensured he completed the podium.

Castrol EDGE Index: Greece v Russia
1. Roman Shirokov (RUS) 9.24
2. Michalis Sifakis (GRE) 9.04
3. Igor Denisov (RUS) 8.78
4. Yuri Zhirkov (RUS) 8.76
5. Giannis Maniatis (GRE) 8.65

Key facts
6
The victory was Greece's first in six UEFA European Championship final tournament fixtures since they won the 2004 showpiece in Lisbon.

16 Number of games Russia were unbeaten coming into the match.

25 – Attempts on goal by Dick Advocaat's Russia; Greece, in contrast, had just five.

105 – Passes completed by Russia midfielder Igor Denisov; the highest total in the Greece XI was 30.

120 – Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis equalled Theodoros Zagorakis's record of caps.

Last updated: 20/06/12 3.37CET

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