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Valerón sparks Spanish victory over Russia

Published: Sunday 13 June 2004, 0.59CET
Spain 1-0 Russia
Juan Carlos Valerón scored within a minute of coming on to get Spain off to a winning start in Group A.
by Matthew Spiro
from Estádio Algarve
Valerón sparks Spanish victory over Russia
Juan Carlos Valerón rejoices after prising the only goal ©Getty Images

Match statistics

SpainRussia

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
3
Attempts off target8
 
3
Corners4
 
3
Fouls committed12
 
21
Yellow cards3
 
6
Red cards0
1

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:58 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 13 June 2004, 0.59CET

Valerón sparks Spanish victory over Russia

Spain 1-0 Russia
Juan Carlos Valerón scored within a minute of coming on to get Spain off to a winning start in Group A.

An inspired substitution from coach Iñaki Sáez helped Spain get their UEFA EURO 2004 campaign off to a perfect start as Juan Carlos Valerón came off the bench to score with virtually his first touch and seal three important points in Group A.

With Greece unexpectedly defeating hosts Portugal earlier in the day, both sides knew victory would make qualification for the quarter-finals a distinct possibility. However, in the event Valerón's cool finish on the hour proved enough, while Russia ended with ten men as Roman Sharonov was dismissed for a second yellow card late on.

Spain lined up as expected after David Albelda shook off a muscle strain to link up with Valencia CF team-mate Rubén Baraja in midfield, while Joseba Etxeberria, Raúl González and Vicente formed an attacking trio behind Fernando Morientes. Russia adopted a more cautious approach, with coach Georgy Yartsev opting for Dmitri Bulykin as a lone striker, allowing winger Rolan Gusev to come into a five-man midfield.

Spain started at a ferocious pace and had Russia's reorganised defence under pressure as early as the third minute. Baraja's pinpoint pass found Raúl in space in the penalty area but the striker shot wide of the far post. Russia were soon stretched again as Raúl threaded a pass through for Morientes but Sharonov blocked his left-foot shot.

Spain continued to dominate territorially but Russia slowly gained in confidence and mounted their first serious attack on 16 minutes. Marat Izmailov's right-wing cross drifted over Carles Puyol to the ummarked Bulykin, but his tame volley was blocked. Izmailov was Russia's brightest player in the opening stages and he threatened again minutes later, flashing a long-range shot wide of Iker Casillas' far post.

Vicente's influence on the left wing grew as the half went on and his darting burst and precise cross set up a glorious chance for Morientes on 36 minutes. The striker's header was brilliantly saved by Sergei Ovchinnikov and although the rebound fell to Etxeberria, the winger miscued from close range.

The chance brought the game to life and Dmitri Alenichev almost opened the scoring at the other end seconds later, jinking between Carlos Marchena and Puyol but Casillas was equal to his chip. Russia finished the half on top and Casillas had to be alert once more as Alenichev cut into the box after a quickly-taken corner and forced the goalkeeper to parry at the near post.

Yartsev introduced playmaker Vladislav Radimov for Gusev at the break, but the second half started in similar vein to the first with a tide of Spain pressure. Etxeberria twice escaped his marker on the right, first cutting back for Baraja whose shot was blocked, then delivering a teasing cross that was headed wide of the far post by an unmarked Raúl.

Spain made their first changes just before the hour, with Valerón and Xabi Alonso replacing Morientes and Baraja – it took Valerón 36 seconds to make the breakthrough. Puyol burst past Dmitri Sennikov and delivered a low cross that Valerón coolly worked on to his left foot to score from close range.

Russia reacted by sending on Dmitri Sychev as a second striker but Spain were suddenly playing with more fluency. Raúl might have doubled the lead, shrugging off two defenders before shooting just over from 20 metres while Vicente had two late chances, but La Roja had already done enough.

Last updated: 16/01/12 14.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1581/match=1059165/postmatch/report/index.html#valeron+sparks+spain

Lineups

Spain

Spain

Russia

Russia

23
CasillasIker Casillas (GK)
1
OvchinnikovSergei Ovchinnikov (GK)
3
MarchenaCarlos Marchena
Yellow Card66
4
SmertinAleksei Smertin (C)
Yellow Card29
4
AlbeldaDavid Albelda
Yellow Card85
7
IzmailovMarat Izmailov
Substitution74
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
8
GusevRolan Gusev
Yellow Card12
Substitution46
6
Iván HelgueraIván Helguera
9
BulykinDmitri Bulykin
7
Raúl GonzálezRaúl González (C)
Substitution78
10
MostovoiAleksandr Mostovoi
8
BarajaRubén Baraja
Yellow Card43
Substitution59
13
SharonovRoman Sharonov
Yellow Card18
Red Card88
10
MorientesFernando Morientes
Substitution59
15
AlenichevDmitri Alenichev
14
VicenteVicente
16
EvseevVadim Evseev
15
Raúl BravoRaúl Bravo
17
SennikovDmitri Sennikov
17
EtxeberriaJoseba Etxeberria
22
AldoninEvgeni Aldonin
Yellow Card32
Substitution68

Substitutes

1
CañizaresSantiago Cañizares (GK)
12
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK)
13
AranzubiaDaniel Aranzubia (GK)
23
AkinfeevIgor Akinfeev (GK)
9
TorresFernando Torres
Substitution78
2
RadimovVladislav Radimov
Substitution46
Yellow Card90+3
16
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
Substitution59
3
SychevDmitri Sychev
Substitution68
21
ValerónJuan Carlos Valerón
Substitution59
Goal60
5
KaryakaAndrei Karyaka
Substitution74
2
CapdevilaJoan Capdevila
6
SemshovIgor Semshov
11
LuqueAlbert Luque
11
KerzhakovAleksandr Kerzhakov
12
GabriGabri
14
AnyukovAleksandr Anyukov
18
César MartínCésar Martín
18
KirichenkoDmitri Kirichenko
19
JoaquínJoaquín
19
BystrovVladimir Bystrov
20
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
20
LoskovDmitri Loskov
22
JuanitoJuanito
21
BugaevAleksei Bugaev

Coach

José Ignacio Sáez (ESP) Georgy Yartsev (URS)

Referee

Urs Meier (SUI)

Assistant referees

Francesco Buragina (SUI), Rudolf Käppeli (SUI)

Fourth official

Kim Milton Nielsen (DEN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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