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Russia and Germany playing for pride

Published: Monday 10 June 2013, 7.00CET
Pride is the only thing at stake when the bottom two teams in Group B, Russia and Germany, meet in their final game at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Russia and Germany playing for pride
Disappointment has been the name of the game for Germany in Israel ©Getty Images

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Goals scored2
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Published: Monday 10 June 2013, 7.00CET

Russia and Germany playing for pride

Pride is the only thing at stake when the bottom two teams in Group B, Russia and Germany, meet in their final game at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Pride is the only thing at stake when the bottom two teams in Group B, Russia and Germany, meet in their final game at this UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

• After losing their two fixtures so far, both third-placed Germany and Russia, who sit fourth, will be keen to sign off on a winning note, and avoid the ignominy of finishing without a point. Prior to these finals, only Israel in 2007 had left an U21 tournament with no points to their name.

• Whoever wins the match will take third place. If it ends in a draw, Germany will finish above Russia owing to their superior goal difference.

Previous meetings
• This will be the sides' first UEFA European Under-21 Championship meeting and their first match of any description in a decade. In their last friendly encounter, on 19 August 2003, Mike Hanke gave Germany a 17th-minute lead but goals from Roman Adamov (60) and Spartak Gogniev (77) turned the contest in Russia's favour.

• The teams at the Torpedo Stadium in Moscow were:
Russia: Akinfeev (Gabulov 46), Kuzmin (Gogniev 46), Rogochi (Karlashchuk 36), Belozerov, Anyukov, Denisov, Bober (Vinogradov 57), Kusov, Vanyushin, Pimenov (Arshavin 46), Adamov.
Germany: Wiese, Schlicke (Franz 62), Madlung, Kling, Tiffert (Kuranyi 83), Balitsch (Görlitz 46), Hitzlsperger (Lapaczinski 46), Gemiti (Rathgeb 75), Marx (Burkhardt 46), Jones, Hanke.

• A year earlier two Benjamin Auer goals – the second in the 90th minute – helped Germany to a home friendly win by the same 2-1 scoreline. Andrey Arshavin had seemingly earned the visitors a draw in Hoffenheim with an 86th-minute equaliser.

• Russia were 4-2 winners in Idar-Oberstein in August 1997 and overcame Germany 2-0 in a Moscow friendly in September 1994 – the teams' first friendly meeting.

• The Soviet Union were unbeaten in five games against both West Germany and the reunified Germany between 1984 and 1991, recording two wins and three draws.

• Two of those matches came in the 1990 European Championship when the USSR drew 1-1 at home, then won 2-1 away to eliminate West Germany in the last eight, on their way to picking up the 1990 title. 

• It was a different story in 1982, however, West Germany defeating the USSR 5-0 in Aachen and 4-3 in Kharkiv.

Match background
• This is Russia's first finals appearance as an independent nation under the current format. They reached the quarter-finals in 1994 and 1998 and were knocked out in the play-offs for the 2000, 2006 and 2007 finals.

• As part of the Soviet Union, they were European champions in 1980 and 1990.

• Germany failed to qualify for Denmark last time out having lifted the trophy in Sweden in 2009 after defeating England 4-0 in the final in Malmo. That is Germany's sole U21 triumph, although as West Germany they were runners-up in 1982.

• Germany were eliminated in the group stage of the 2004 and 2006 finals – hosting the former edition – and lost in the quarter-finals in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 1998.

Team ties
• Oleg Shatov was a late second-leg substitute as FC Anji Makhachkala won 4-2 on aggregate against Hannover 96 in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Nikita Chicherin's FC Dinamo Moskva lost 3-1 on aggregate to VfB Stuttgart in the UEFA Europa League play-offs in August 2012. Antonio Rüdiger did not feature for the German club while Chicherin played 90 minutes of Dinamo's 1-1 draw in the home second leg.

• Russia coach Nikolai Pisarev spent 1996/97 on loan at FC St Pauli – then in the Bundesliga – scoring four goals in 21 appearances.

Russia news
• Fabio Capello, coach of the senior national side, watched the 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands but is not expected to attend the Germany game.

• Maksim Belyaev suffered slight concussion against the Dutch but was present at training in Bat Yam on Monday.

Germany news
• Midfielder Christoph Moritz is likely to be unavailable because of flu while left-back Sead Kolasinac, absent against Spain, will almost certainly miss out again owing to a knee problem. Striker Peniel Mlapa was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury sustained in the first match against the Netherlands but has stayed on with the squad in Israel.

• Captain Lewis Holtby said it was "difficult to accept that we are out of the tournament", but remains optimistic about the future, adding that he was "convinced that a lot of players in this Under-21 team will become world-class footballers in the future".

• Hansi Flick, assistant coach to senior national coach Joachim Löw, wrote in a blog on the German Football Association (DFB) website that playing a third match after being eliminated is a "test of character" and added: "We lost with dignity against the Netherlands and Spain and gained a lot of sympathy in Israel. We presented ourselves as good guests to these great, fun-loving and amiable hosts."

• A DFB delegation led by president Wolfgang Niersbach, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Monday morning. The group, which included Otto Rehhagel, Günter Netzer and German Football League CEO Andreas Rettig, laid a wreath at the site and signed the guestbook.

Last updated: 10/06/13 21.22CET