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Russia ease past Greece and into final

Russia 4-0 Greece
Nikita Chernov and Aleksei Gasilin set up a comfortable win before Ramil Sheydaev's record-breaking penalty and Chernov's second goal.

Highlights: Russia 4-0 Greece

Russia into first U19 final as second-half surge ends Greece's hopes
Goals from Nikita Chernov (50) and Aleksei Gasilin (52) put Russia in command
Ramil Sheydaev penalty makes it three, his record-breaking 12th goal of season (65)
Greece lose Timos Tselepidis to 68th-minute red card; Chernov makes it 4-0 (79)
Russia to play Spain in Sunday's final

Russia reached the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final for the first time as a dominant second-half display ended the hopes of hosts Greece. Two goals in the space of three minutes, from Nikita Chernov and Aleksei Gasilin, changed the contest, Ramil Sheydaev adding a third from the penalty spot before Chernov got his second and Russia's fourth.

Giannis Goumas had said his team would look to counterattack and he was true to his word as Greece sat very deep in the opening exchanges, Russia's Ayaz Guliev shooting over from the edge of the penalty area with the match's first chance. Goumas' tactics looked to be bearing fruit, however, as Greece carved out the best two chances of the first half.

First Manolis Saliakas burst forward down the right to deliver a searching cross that Nikolas Vergos prodded wide at the near post. Then another cross, from Giorgos Kiriakopoulos on the opposing flank, picked out Efthymis Koulouris; his effort at full stretch clipped the top of the crossbar.

Russia, however, had carried a threat of their own and nearly struck a moment before half-time as Denis Yakuba's ball from the left found Igor Bezdenezhnykh arriving at pace – stretching, he could only prod straight at Konstantinos Kotsaris. 

Greece emerged after half-time full of purpose, but while goalkeeper Anton Mitryushkin was kept busy, Russia scored twice in quick succession. First Chernov headed in Aleksandr Golovin's left-wing corner; then, with Greece still struggling to regroup, Sheydaev played in Gasilin, and the finish was unerring.

It quickly got worse for Greece as Georgi Melkadze was tripped by Albert Roussos and Sheydaev smashed in the penalty – his 12th goal of this season's competition overall, a new record. Greece defender Timos Tselepidis was then shown a red card having fouled the striker as the last man, and Russia added a fourth when Chernov touched in Melkadze's free-kick.

Nikita Chernov after scoring his first goal
Nikita Chernov after scoring his first goal©AFP
Russia rejoice after Ramil Sheydaev makes it 3-0
Russia rejoice after Ramil Sheydaev makes it 3-0©Sportsfile

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