Three changes in composition and extreme heat
Qualification of Euro 2020 will certainly be remembered by Russian fans for a long time, because the national team has never been selected for a major tournament so easily. In the first seven matches, the wards of Stanislav Cherchesov were defeated by Belgium, and then won six victories in a row.
The skeptics explained everything with a successful draw and a low level of rivals, but the Russians scored twice the same Scots, who can hardly be called whipping boys, and sent four unanswered goals at home to the British team.
After that, the national team’s entry into the final stage of Euro 2020 was almost a fait accompli. For this, Artyom Dzube and the company in the next match needed to play a draw with Cyprus.
The opponent was clearly within the power of the domestic team, but it was impossible to underestimate the opponent. The young unyielding team imposed a fight on both Belgium and Scotland, and in the confrontation with Kazakhstan, she scored four points.
It was not easy for Russia in the first match with the Cypriots. Wards Cherchesova looked far from the best way and won only with a minimum score. At home, on the side of the island team was very hot. On the day of the match, the thermometer showed above +30 ° C, playing in such weather was not easy.
Fans were more worried about how much the starting lineup of the Russian team would differ from the roster for a meeting with Scotland. As a result of the changes, there were three at once. Firstly, they didn’t even get into the application due to various injuries, Mario Fernandez and Dmitry Barinov.
The place of a naturalized Brazilian on the right flank of defense was taken by Sergey Petrov. For the defender of Krasnodar, this match was the debut in the national team. And Ilzat Akhmetov appeared in the base zone. Finally, on the left side of midfield, instead of Yuri Zhirkov, Denis Cheryshev came out.
Starting lineup @TeamRussia
Guillerme, Kudryashov, Dzhikia, Semenov, Petrov, Cheryshev, Ionov, Ozdoev, Akhmetov, Golovin, Dziuba.
Spare: Lunev, Dzhanaev, Bakaev, Karavaev, Zhirkov, Chistyakov, Ignatiev, Belyaev, Kuzyaev, Mogilevets, Komlichenko, Sobolev.
Quick goal and removal for the toughest tackle
As a result, even the heat did not greatly help the Cypriots. In the first half, the Russian team looked much stronger than the opponent. Already in the second minute, George Djikia could open an account after a corner, but struck the crossbar. Following a promising moment, Alexey Ionov missed.
But the quick goal from Cherchesov's team has not gone anywhere. Denis Cheryshev near someone else's penalty took the ball from the defender, burst in and just shot into the near corner. The goalkeeper at that moment seemed to be waiting for a cross on Dziuba.
Having missed, the Cypriots finally lost faith in themselves. The owners had to go forward, but they did not succeed in absolutely nothing. Moreover, in the middle of the first half, Russia scored the second goal. Dziuba made an amazing cut into the penalty area on Ionova. Alex was in an offside position, but the referee did not notice this, and allowed the player to perform a not-so-successful lumbago on Cheryshev. Denis himself failed to break through, but passed the free Magomed Ozdoev, who scored in the second match in a row.
Immediately, the Cypriots began to lose their nerves. One of the most experienced players of the team Konstantinos Life in the tackle almost broke Petrov’s leg, for which he received first a yellow, and then a red card. Sergei was able to return to the field, but after ten minutes he still asked for a replacement. Instead, Vyacheslav Karavaev entered the field. So on the right flank of the Russian team immediately marked two debutants.
The hosts did not escape injuries. Goalkeeper Kostas Panayi, beating Dzuba with his own free kick, received a knee injury and was forced to leave the field. Instead, the naturalized Spaniard Urco Rafael Pardo entered the game.
But the goals before the break were no more, although the Russians had many moments to bring the score to a major one. Dziuba, Cheryshev, Golovin, and Ionov could differ, but the implementation left much to be desired. Artyom was especially dissatisfied with himself, who diligently acted in the game, but not too often received dangerous passes inside the box.
Guilherme's shocking ending and boredom
In the second half, Russian players continued to miss chic moments. Ionov was especially wasteful, who could have made a hat-trick, but in the end he did not distinguish himself even once. Golovin hit the crossbar of someone else's goal. Finally, in a couple of episodes, Pardo acted beyond praise. In one of the episodes, he miraculously managed to take shape and fended off Ionov’s shot from several meters, and in the other he reacted to Dziuba’s powerful shot.
The Cypriots looked frankly weak and simply waited for the end of the match at their gates. The hosts did not manage to break through on target Guilherme. The goalkeeper frankly missed and, without straining, recorded himself in the asset the sixth match to zero in the current selection.
It seemed that the meeting would end with a score of 2: 0, and the Russians would prefer to save their strength and would not finish off the opponent by all means. But Dziuba simply did not have the right to leave the field without a goal. In addition, ten minutes before the final whistle, the third debutant Zelimkhan Bakaev entered the field.
And Artyom immediately managed to excel. After Cheryshev’s soft filing on the left, the forward struck his head precisely into the far corner and chalked up the 24th goal in the national team and the ninth in the current selection.
And in the end, the lounging opponent missed twice more, and in both cases, Dziuba famously worked as an assistant. First, Artyom made a soft discount on Golovin, and then on Cheryshev. So Denis scored the fourth point for the performance in the game and designed a double. Dziuba knocked out three points.
The final whistle recorded a historic moment. The Russian national team won the seventh consecutive victory in official matches and two matches before the end of the qualifying stage won a ticket to Euro 2020. And in the next match Cherchesov’s team in St. Petersburg will take Belgium and try to challenge the current bronze medalists of the World Cup in first place in the group.