RUSSIA - ESTONIA - 2:0 (0:0)
October 11 2006.
European Championship Qualifying Group E.
St Petersburg. Petrovsky Stadium. 21500.
Referee: Eric Braamhaar (HOL).
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Vasiliy Berezutsky, Alexei Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich,
Alexander Anyukov, Vladimir Bystrov, Yegor Titov, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov,
Yevgeny Aldonin (Dmitry Sychev, 75), Andrei Arshavin, Alexander Kerzhakov
(Pavel Pogrebnyak, 46).
Coach - Guus Hiddink (HOL).
Estonia: Mart Poom, Enar Jaager, Teet Allas (Ats Purje, 80), Andrei Stepanov,
Raio Piiroja, Dmitri Kruglov, Sergei Terehhov (Taavi Rahn, 81), Aleksandr
Dmitrijev, Ragnar Klavan, Andres Oper, Ingemar Teever (Vitali Gussev,
Coach - Jelle Goes (HOL).
Scorers: Pogrebnyak (78'), Sychev (90'+1').
Yellow Cards: Enar Jaager (45'), Dmitri Kruglov (56'), Andrei Stepanov
(72'), Alexei Berezutsky (88'), Raio Piiroja (89').
Red Card: Raio Piiroja (89').
Subs carry Russia to victory
Russia's Andrei Arshavin beats Enar Jaager to
the ball (©AFP/Getty Images)
Russia claimed their first UEFA EURO 2008™ Group E victory
at the third attempt after goals from substitutes Pavel Pogrebnyak and
Dmitri Sychev earned Guus Hiddink's side a 2-0 win against Estonia in
Pogrebnyak volleyed in from close range 12 minutes from time before Sychev
made the points safe with a clinical 22-yard strike in stoppage time.
Yet it was a far from straightforward success for the hosts, who were
forced to stifle spells of Estonia pressure in the first half and were
left frustrated by a resolute defence.
Russia made the early running, with FC Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder
Andrei Arshavin threatening inside the Estonia area without the danger
being converted into opportunities. Indeed, the clearest chance of the
first half fell to Estonia on 15 minutes when Andres Oper broke clear
only to send a weak chip into the arms of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. Oper
featured again in the 31st minute, shooting across the face of Akinfeev's
Russia then began to assert themselves. Arshavin went close when his effort
was deflected centimetres wide by Estonia defender Andrei Stepanov, before
goalkeeper Mart Poom was tested for the first time by a shot from a tight
angle by Aleksandr Kerzhakov which he parried. Kerzhakov subsequently
made way for Pogrebnyak at half-time.
Hiddink's men came out for the second period full of attacking intent.
Arshavin burst into the Estonia area and smashed the ball against the
post after just 32 seconds. Five minutes later the Zenit man turned provider,
slipping the ball behind the defence for Vladimir Bystrov to draw a save
Captain Evgeni Aldonin was sacrificed for Sychev as Hiddink went in desperate
search of a goal. The ploy worked when Yegor Titov flicked on for Pogrebnyak,
who blasted past Poom from ten metres. Hiddink's opposite number, fellow
Dutchman Jelle Goes, then made a triple substitution but Estonian hopes
were further dented when defender Raio Piiroja was dismissed on 90 minutes
following his second caution.
Sychev then sealed a deserved win for Russia a minute into stoppage time,
picking his spot with a low drive. Estonia's third straight defeat leaves
them five points behind the Russians, who travel to F.Y.R. Macedonia in
November. These teams resume their rivalry in March, their first outing
- October 11, 2006