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|1||Mitryushkin (GK) (C)||1||Marić (GK)|
|12||Kuznetsov (GK)||12||Grbić (GK)|
|Dmitri Khomukha (RUS)||Ivan Gudelj (CRO)|
|Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)|
A resolute Russia team frustrated Croatia in Group B, leaving themselves in pole position to make the UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-finals.
Dmitri Khomukha's side go into their concluding game against Italy requiring a point to secure a last-four berth after gamely holding the technically excellent Croatia at bay. After two goalless draws, Ivan Gudelj's charges know victory is a virtual must on Saturday against Ukraine following a match in which they spurned a number of chances.
Desperate to open their account after an opening stalemate with Italy, Croatia were immediately on the front foot, with Fran Brodić a fraction away from scoring after Anton Mitryushkin parried Ante Roguljić's low shot. Roguljić then threatened after driving into the penalty area, but the best chance of the half fell to captain Josip Bašić, who drove over from a delicate Alen Halilović through ball.
Russia possess plenty of firepower, however, as displayed in their 3-0 success against Ukraine. Maksim Mayrovich's goal in that game earned him a starting place, but he was unable to stretch far enough to poke in the ball after Marko Marić had saved a powerful Aleksandr Makarov drive.
Russia had started slowly in their opener before a powerful second-half display secured the points, and they threatened to do the same again. Marić was forced into a sharp stop at his near post after Aleksandr Golovin cut in from the left and let fly, before Sergei Makarov blasted over with the Croatia No1 stranded having denied Aleksandr Zuev.
At the other end, the ball fell to Frane Vojković in the area but his effort lacked the power to beat Mitryushkin, while Roguljić ran out of gas after a 40-metre run had taken him into the box. The goalkeeper then tipped over Robert Murić's effort in the dying moments, before a Petar Mamić cross deflected on to the Russian woodwork to compound Croatia's frustration.
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