A combination of bad luck and poor finishing were the reasons why Russia finished their finals with a 2-1 loss to Germany, according to goalscorer Alan Dzagoev.
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Despite an improved performance against Germany, Russia ended with three losses from as many Group B games and Alan Dzagoev said it was a combination of bad luck and poor finishing that led to their 2-1 loss in Netanya. Russia's goalscorer was encouraged by the better display, though, while goalkeeper Aleksandr Filtsov added that his team were frustrated they could not get a get a result as "a present" to the fans back home on 'Russia Day' to conclude their UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals campaign.
Alan Dzagoev, Russia midfielder
It was a good performance. If you talk from the point of view of control of the ball and good chances, then before the dismissal we were better than our opponents. Our performances against the Netherlands and Germany were good, but it is tough when you are a man down.
We tried today, and had chances to equalise, but at certain moments we were not lucky and in some, probably, we did not have enough quality. We were better today. Against the Dutch, they had more of the ball but today we were improved.
I know many of the players here. I was playing with the lads who were born in 1990 under Andrei Talalaev – about seven of them. I know [Georgi] Schennikov as we're club-mates, therefore it wasn't difficult to understand each other [on the pitch]. We played better than the results we got. From a points view we didn't succeed, though, of course we wanted more.
Aleksandr Filtsov, Russia goalkeeper
Even with ten man we had chances. It's a big pity as we could have equalised. I want to say thanks to all the team for their fighting spirit throughout the whole match at every single moment. We have gained great experience. Of course, everyone in the squad wanted to play better. Everyone, absolutely everyone, wanted to go as far as possible, to play at least one more match and then see what could happen.
This match was the best of our three. We were down to ten men for most of the game but still played well. I think the fans appreciated our performance as every player was fighting hard. Today is 'Russia Day' back home and of course we wanted to give our country a present and the coach got us up for this.
We tried to play on the counterattack. We studied Germany's game, the coaches showed us how we should play on the counterattack, but also how to keep possession when we could. We were ready to do whatever it took.