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Russian omen augurs well for Spain

Spain won a crucial game against Russia to reach the semi-finals 16 years ago and are hoping for a repeat in Norrkoping as they and their opponents seek progress in Group C.

Verónica Boquete scored against Russia in January and played there in 2011
Verónica Boquete scored against Russia in January and played there in 2011 ©Getty Images

Spain won a crucial game against Russia to reach the semis in their last finals appearance 16 years ago and are hoping for a repeat as both they and their rivals target progress from Group C in Norrkoping.

• Spain missed the chance to win the section when they lost 1-0 to France last time out, Wendie Renard's early header taking Les Bleues through as group winners instead. Before that, Ignacio Quereda's troops beat England 3-2 after a thrilling finale.

• Two points behind Spain in third, Russia were denied a victory against England when Toni Duggan secured Hope Powell's side a 1-1 draw in added time. That brought Sergei Lavrentyev's charges their first point after they kicked off with a 3-1 loss to France.

• Spain will clinch second place with a draw or win. They can only finish bottom and not have a chance of going through as a best third-place team if they lose and England win.

• Russia will be through with a victory. They will finish second if they win and England do not beat France by enough to match them on goals difference and goals scored (if both finish level, England will be second due to their coefficient as per Article 8.05 of the official competition regulations).

• If both Russia and England lose, neither could go through as the best third-placed team. If Russia draw and England lose, Russia will go into the best third-placed draw with Denmark.

Head-to-head record
• This is the seventh meeting of these nations. Spain have won four with one loss and one draw, scoring nine goals to Russia's six.

• Long-serving Spain coach Ignacio Quereda first took on Russia in two friendlies in Varna in April 1995, drawing 0-0 and winning 4-2.

• Two years later came the sides' most important match, at the 1997 finals in Sweden. Meeting like now in their last group game, Russia were out after two losses but Spain were within three points of France. Les Bleues lost 3-0 to Sweden, meaning Spain's 1-0 victory in Karlskoga – with Ángeles Parejo scoring the goal – took them into the semi-finals on goal difference.

• Russia and Spain met again in 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying. On 28 October 2001, Russia won 2-0 in Selyatino but lost the return 2-1 in Molina De Segura the following April, Elisabeth Ibarra coming off the bench.

• Russia nevertheless topped the group to qualify while Spain lost 3-0 in Italy and were eliminated.

Selected previous meeting
16 January 2013: Spain 2-1 Russia (Boquete 13, Jennifer 90+2; Morozova 34) – Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Friendly
Spain: Ainhoa (María José 49), Melisa, Ruth García (Leire 65), Sonia (Priscilla 13), Boquete, Adriana (Erika 65), Sandra (Vicky 65), Meseguer (Nagore 65), Jennifer, Ibarra, Marta Torrejón.
Russia: Todua, Petrova, Tsybutovich, Kostyukova (Makarenko 66), Medved, Kozhnikova (Mashina 45), Morozova (Skotnikova 66), Savchenkova (Kurochkina 74), Danilova (Sochneva 74), Terekhova, Shlyapina.

• While on a training camp in Spain these sides met for a friendly and Spain triumphed with a late goal despite Sonia's early injury.

Form guide
• On 24 November 2011, Spain came back from two down with goals from Verónica Boquete and Willy to hold Germany 2-2 in Motril. That ended Germany's run of 38 straight Women's EURO, and 36 consecutive qualifying, wins dating back to November 1999.

• Then on 5 April 2012, María Paz scored seven times in a 13-0 defeat of Kazakhstan in Madrid, the most goals scored by an individual in a Women's EURO game.

• However that came a few days after a 5-0 loss in Germany and a subsequent 4-3 defeat in Switzerland meant Spain had to settle for a play-off.

• They drew the first leg with Scotland 1-1 at Hampden Park, Adriana equalising but missing a penalty, and had to come from behind in the Madrid return to force extra time. There, they fell behind on 98 minutes and although Silvia Meseguer levelled on 113 minutes, Spain remained behind on away goals. When Boquete had a 119th-minute penalty saved it seemed all over, but deep in added time she found the target for a dramatic victory.

• Spain's only previous qualification was in 1997, when they reached the semi-finals. However, their Women's U17s (2010 and 2011) and U19s (2004) teams have both won European titles and this is the only UEFA national-team competition (including men, women, youth and futsal) that Spain have never won.

• Russia were forced into a play-off in UEFA Women's EURO qualifying for the third time running after two group losses to Italy. As in 2009 they came through, beating Austria 2-0 away and drawing 1-1 at home.

• While Russia have gone out in the EURO group stage at all three attempts (1997, 2001 and 2009), in their two World Cup appearances (1999 and 2003) they made it to the quarter-finals.

Team ties
• Verónica Boquete played alongside Elena Terekhova and Anastasia Kostyukova at FC Energiya Voronezh in 2011.

• Boquete played in Energiya's UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16 loss to Russian rivals FC Rossiyanka, who featured Olga Petrova, Natalia Pertseva, Elena Morozova and Natalia Shlyapina.

• In 2009/10, Rossiyanka won the only encounter between Russian and Spanish clubs in UEFA women's competition, beating Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 3-1 away and 2-1 at home. Petrova and Adriana both scored in the first leg.

• Rossiyanka included Petrova, Pertseva, Morozova, Tatania Skotnikova and Terekhova. Vallecano fielded Melisa, Sonia, Adriana, and Sandra.