Spain 1-3 Russia Dmitri Barinov, Aleksei Gasilin and Ramil Sheydaev hit the target as a remarkable comeback victory in Veria earned Russia their first three points in Group B.
Article top media content
• Russia secure comeback victory against six-time winners Spain
• Borja Mayoral scores opener; Dmitri Barinov restores parity
• Second-half strikes by Aleksei Gasilin and Ramil Sheydaev earn Russia first victory
• Dzhamaldin Khodzhaniyazov dismissed for two bookable offences
• Final Group B games: Russia v Germany, Spain v Netherlands (13 July)
Russia struck twice in six second half minutes to seal a shock comeback victory against six-time winners Spain and leave UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B wide open after matchday two.
Spain made all the early running in Veria as Luis de la Fuente's side began their second game with a flourish, Real Madrid CF forward Borja Mayoral latching on to a loose ball to break the deadlock early with an emphatic finish inside the area. However, Russia hit back via Dmitri Barinov's late first-half strike before second-half goals by Aleksei Gasilin and Ramil Sheydaev earned them a first victory at the finals.
Having struck via a spot kick in their opener against holders Germany, Mayoral proved his finishing prowess once more inside 13 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball after a Russia challenge before unleashing an unstoppable right-footed effort to open the scoring.
Three minutes earlier, Marco Asensio had threatened to hit the opener but failed to beat Russia goalkeeper Anton Mitryushkin from close range after a one-two inside the area. The No10 almost doubled the advantage once Spain had made their dominance count, however, his 23rd-minute effort from distance whistled past a post.
Russia began their campaign in unconvincing fashion – losing 1-0 against the Netherlands in Larissa – but responded well to the early blow and finished the first half strongly. Gasilin forced a fine stop from Antonio Sivera before Barinov levelled. The No8 brushed aside Mikel Merino, surged into the box, then found the top corner to restore parity eight minutes before the interval.
Dmitri Khomukha's charges completed the turnaround just three minutes after the restart. Following a rapid counterattack Aleksandr Golovin picked out Gasilin, who turned inside the area before finding the net with a left-footed strike. Six minutes later Spain, while they pressed for an equaliser, found themselves further behind. Sheydaev, who finished as the top scorer in qualifying with ten goals, turned in a right-wing cross from Georgi Melkadze to put Russia in a commanding position.
Mayoral squandered a glorious chance from close range to register his second before Dzhamaldin Khodzhaniyazov was dismissed on 71 minutes. However, ten-man Russia held on to keep their hopes alive.
Dmitri Khomukha, Russia coach
Despite going 1-0 down, I was confident we could turn it around as the main trait of our team is the force of will, their force of character. Every player knows that he must give it everything he's got from the first minute until the last, in order to be a member of this team. And today they did just that.
We knew that Spain are great in their passing game, they like combinations and we noted that their full backs function as full wings, often charging forward on attack. Our plan was to send our forwards in these zones and hit from there, taking advantage of the open space. It worked out perfectly.
Luis de la Fuente, Spain coach
We came across a very strong Russian team. We knew that their players have great quality and they created very difficult situations for us. We started very well in the first twenty minutes, but as time went by we started to lose our pass precision.
Russia started to win the individual duels on the pitch and claim possession near our box. They did us a lot of damage especially in counterattacks. We gave everything we had, but it wasn't to be. We weren't as we should today.