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Ten-man Russia through against all odds

Russia 2-0 Scotland
Russia's 1-0 lead looked precarious when Aleksandr Lomovitski was sent off on the hour but they soon struck again to book a quarter-final spot.

Russia goalscorer Dmitri Pletnev vies with Daniel Harvie of Scotland
Russia goalscorer Dmitri Pletnev vies with Daniel Harvie of Scotland ©Sportsfile

• Strikes from Yegor Denisov and Dmitri Pletnev seal victory for Russia
• With Greece losing to a last-minute France goal, Russia go through on goal difference
• Aleksandr Lomovitski shown red card with 20 minutes remaining
• Scotland leave Bulgaria after a third Group C defeat
• Russia will face England in the quarter-finals on Saturday

Dmitri Pletnev's goal 15 minutes from time proved decisive, clinching a UEFA European Under-17 Championship quarter-final place for Russia despite his team being down to ten men against Scotland.

Leading through Yegor Denisov's effort on 52 minutes, Mikhail Galaktionov's side looked to be up against it when Aleksandr Lomovitski was shown a second yellow card midway through the second period. They were still heading out when Pletnev increased the Russian advantage, with Greece holding already qualified France in the other match, but French substitute Jordan Rambaud's strike deep into added time means Russia advanced on goal difference.

Scotland were already out after back-to-back Group C defeats but they began gamely, snapping into tackles and almost going ahead courtesy of Tom McIntyre's early header. Gradually, though, Russia warmed to the task in Sliven. Lomovitski was their chief threat, and he threatened a goal himself before teeing up Denisov for the opener. A red card a few minutes later undid that good work, however.

Francis Ross so nearly meted out further punishment with a header but Aleksandr Maksimenko saved and moments later Pletnev made it 2-0 on the counter, following up after Ross Doohan had parried his initial attempt. Then all eyes were on France; Rambaud, in the 84th minute, did not disappoint.

Mikhail Galaktionov, Russia coach

We are in the knockouts but it wasn't easy; we really had to come through adversity and my boys showed real character. We had a very serious talk at half-time, and we made a few tactical changes, putting two up front. We scored two goals and achieved our target. We also are very thankful to France, who kept going right to the end.

Scot Gemmill, Scotland coach
I think we played really well today. There were obviously some key moments where Russia had the quality to take their chances. I think the context of the game obviously affects what happens; Russia knew they needed to win to have a chance of qualifying and they changed their system at half-time. The players are disappointed but I've told them to hold their heads up high because it's a big achievement to get to the final tournament at this level.