Bazelyuk double helps Russia sink Slovenia

Russia 2-1 Slovenia
Nikolai Pisarev's side join Bulgaria at the top of Group 2 after Konstantin Bazelyuk helped them come from behind to beat the point-less visitors.

Two-goal Konstantin Bazelyuk rises above Slovenia's Luka Krajnc
Two-goal Konstantin Bazelyuk rises above Slovenia's Luka Krajnc ©Evgeny Mokrousov/Sportarchiv

Russia made it two wins from two in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 but were forced to come from behind to defeat a Slovenia side who finished with ten men.

After they opened with a 1-0 home loss to Estonia, little was expected of Tomaž Kavčič's Slovenians in Khimki, but they went ahead through Haris Vučkič's 56th-minute strike. Konstantin Bazelyuk responded almost immediately before snatching the winner four minutes from the end, though there was still time for Žiga Kous to receive a second yellow card.

Off the back of a 3-0 victory in Andorra in March, the hosts were on the front foot in the first half. Vladimir Obukhov saw a dangerous effort saved by Ažbe Jug, before the Slovenia No1 denied Aleksandr Kozlov after the forward's solo run.

The visitors shocked the home crowd after the break, though, as Matej Pučko's cross from the left was met by captain Vučkič who put Slovenia in front. However, the lead did not last: three minutes later Bazelyuk dived low to head Pavel Mogilevets's ball in for the equaliser.

Jug kept out substitute Andrei Panyukov as Slovenia sought to hang onto a first point of qualifying, only for Bazelyuk to drive in the clincher from range with 86 minutes on the clock. Nikolai Pisarev's team join Bulgaria on six points at the top of the section.