Khomukha hails Russia as Greek best is not enough
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Dmitri Khomukha touted his Russia team's ability to turn a game in their favour after four second-half goals felled a Greece side left to rue earlier misses and a lapse in focus.
Article top media content
Dmitri Khomukha, Russia coach
My players knew exactly what to do, what was at stake. I didn't need to motivate them for this match. Greece were very good defensively in the first half and didn't allow us to play our attacking game. After the interval, we found the necessary space and made the most of the set pieces we got and converted our chances. The fact we couldn't play as we'd wanted in the first half was not a source of frustration. As you've seen in our previous matches where our rivals took the lead, my players remained focused and turned the match around. This is our biggest asset. Our aim is to win this trophy and continue on the path this team set as U17 winners two years ago. The main objective is to prepare these players for the senior squad and hopefully to be part of the Russia team that will play at home in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We are working very hard to achieve this.
Giannis Goumas, Greece coach
We played our best game of the tournament but ended up conceding four goals. Our first half was perfect and we outwitted the Russians, one of the best teams in the championship. We didn't let them attack and we created two great chances to take the lead. Had we scored in the first half, perhaps it would have turned out differently. A lapse in concentration at a set piece led to us conceding the first goal and an individual error saw us fall two behind in the space of three minutes. Then we collapsed, because at this age it's not easy to deal with disappointment. It was tough to turn it around. However, I would like to congratulate my players on their huge efforts in the tournament and their fighting spirit which has brought them to the top four in Europe.