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Russia end holders' defence early

Published: Sunday 15 June 2008, 0.44CET
Greece 0-1 Russia
A first-half goal from Konstantin Zyryanov ended the defence of champions Greece at the group stage.
by John Mathews
from Stadion Salzburg Wals-Siezenheim
Russia end holders' defence early
Konstantin Zyryanov scores for Russia ©Getty Images

Match statistics

GreeceRussia

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target6
 
5
Attempts off target5
 
11
Corners7
 
9
Fouls committed17
 
18
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 15 June 2008, 0.44CET

Russia end holders' defence early

Greece 0-1 Russia
A first-half goal from Konstantin Zyryanov ended the defence of champions Greece at the group stage.

Russia's young stars had been urged to "learn fast" by their coach Guus Hiddink and they came of age in Salzburg as Konstantin Zyryanov's solitary goal earned them a 1-0 win against Greece, thus ending Otto Rehhagel's team's reign as kings of Europe. After both sides had lost their opening matches in UEFA EURO 2008 Group D, the stakes were high at the Stadion Wals-Siezenheim, but Russia emerged victorious to knock defending champions Greece out of the tournament.

The only goal will haunt Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis long into the night as he inexplicably chased a cross by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov that had already cleared his posts by five or six metres all the way to the touchline, and he was made to pay the full price for his 33rd-minute excursion. The Olympiacos FC keeper was beaten to the ball by Russia captain Sergei Semak, who hooked it back over his head and Zyryanov was on hand to guide it ever so simply into an unguarded net.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, who recovered from a groin injury to start, was a constant threat to Greece and he created the first real opening in the 14th minute with a curling shot from the corner of the penalty area and Nikopolidis had to be at full stretch to tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner, Yuri Zhirkov flashed a shot a metre wide and Russia appeared the stronger of the two teams in the opening exchanges.

The closest Greece came to Russia's goal in the first half came in the 20th minute when Angelos Charisteas just failed to connect with a free-kick cross from his captain, Angelos Basinas. Midfielder Igor Semshov cleared the danger in highly irregular fashion, the ball bouncing up off his boot and into his face before passing harmlessly wide.

Nikopolidis was kept on his toes early in the second half by Pavlyuchenko, who twice fired in his direction and forced him into saves, and the FC Spartak Moskva striker then cut inside two defenders before dragging his shot into the side netting. Greece, realising their hold on the European crown was slipping, rallied and Basinas had an excellent opportunity to level in the 55th minute, though his left-footed shot from close to the penalty spot was much too high.

Russian counterattacks were always a danger from that point and a clever back-heel by Pavlyuchenko almost set up Bilyaletdinov for a second, but he could not find the target from a promising position. Although Greece had more to lose in the closing stages, Russia appeared far more likely to add to their tally than concede an equaliser, until Fanis Gekas finally found the Russian net late on, only to be ruled offside.

Russia face Sweden in their final Group D game on Wednesday needing victory to reach the quarter-finals, while Greece take on section winners Spain with little to play for but pride.

Last updated: 10/01/12 14.14CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=15093/match=300696/postmatch/report/index.html#russia+holders+defence

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Russia

Russia

1
NikopolidisAntonis Nikopolidis (GK)
1
AkinfeevIgor Akinfeev (GK)
2
SeitaridisGiourkas Seitaridis
Substitution40
4
IgnashevichSergei Ignashevich
3
PatsatzoglouChristos Patsatzoglou
7
TorbinskiDmitri Torbinski
Yellow Card84
5
DellasTraianos Dellas
8
KolodinDenis Kolodin
6
BasinasAngelos Basinas (C)
11
SemakSergei Semak (C)
9
CharisteasAngelos Charisteas
15
BilyaletdinovDiniyar Bilyaletdinov
Substitution70
15
TorosidisVasilis Torosidis
17
ZyryanovKonstantin Zyryanov
Goal33
16
KyrgiakosSotiris Kyrgiakos
18
ZhirkovYuri Zhirkov
Substitution87
20
AmanatidisGiannis Amanatidis
Substitution80
19
PavlyuchenkoRoman Pavlyuchenko
21
KatsouranisKostas Katsouranis
20
SemshovIgor Semshov
23
LiberopoulosNikos Liberopoulos
Yellow Card58
Substitution61
22
AnyukovAleksandr Anyukov

Substitutes

12
ChalkiasKostas Chalkias (GK)
12
GabulovVladimir Gabulov (GK)
13
TzorvasAlexandros Tzorvas (GK)
16
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK)
4
SpyropoulosNikos Spyropoulos
2
V. BerezutskiVasili Berezutski
Substitution87
7
SamarasGiorgios Samaras
3
YanbaevRenat Yanbaev
8
GiannakopoulosStelios Giannakopoulos
Substitution80
5
A. BerezutskiAleksei Berezutski
10
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis
Substitution40
Yellow Card42
6
AdamovRoman Adamov
11
VyntraLoukas Vyntra
9
SaenkoIvan Saenko
Substitution70
Yellow Card77
14
SalpingidisDimitris Salpingidis
13
IvanovOleg Ivanov
17
GekasFanis Gekas
Substitution61
14
ShirokovRoman Shirokov
18
GoumasGiannis Goumas
21
SychevDmitri Sychev
19
AntzasParaskevas Antzas
23
BystrovVladimir Bystrov
22
TziolisAlexandros Tziolis

Coach

Otto-Heinz Rehhagel (GER) Guus Hiddink (NED)

Referee

Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Assistant referees

Alessandro Griselli (ITA), Paolo Calcagno (ITA)

Fourth official

Olegário Benquerença (POR)

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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