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Ten-man Armenia overcome Montenegro

Armenia 4-1 Montenegro
Despite playing for over an hour with ten men, Armenia began their Group 3 campaign with a comfortable victory against Montenegro.

Edgar Malakyan (No9) of Armenia celebrates scoring
Edgar Malakyan (No9) of Armenia celebrates scoring ©Avetis Ghazanchyan

Despite playing for over an hour with ten men, Rafayel Nazaryan marked his first game in charge of Armenia with a convincing 4-1 victory against Montenegro in 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 3.

Edgar Malakyan headed the home side in front after just three minutes and despite being reduced to ten men when Artak Aleksanyan was dismissed, Malakyan's superb solo effort doubled Armenia's lead after the break. Substitute Hovhannes Hovhannisyan's goal extended the advantage and although Stefan Nikolić's goal gave Montenegro a glimmer of hope, the victory was sealed courtesy of Valter Poghosyan's strike six minutes from time.

Armenia got off to the perfect start against a side who won 5-0 in Andorra on Friday when Malakyan headed Artak Edigaryan's cross past Nemanja Šćekić. However, on 23 minutes Aleksanyan's foul on Andrija Kaludjerović earned him a second yellow card.

This did not deter Armenia who continued to attack after the break and were rewarded for their efforts when Malakyan skipped past three defenders to double the lead. Hovhannisyan then extended the advantage with a powerful strike from Malakyan's cross before Nikolić's header gave the visitors hope of a comeback. Any chance the visitors had were extinguished when Poghosyan scored from ten metres after beating two defenders.

Armenia return to qualifying action on 3 September when they travel to Andorra three days before Montenegro welcome Wales. The Czech Republic are also in the group.