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Russia Fall Apart Against Belgium

Russia lost their much anticipated friendly match against Belgium 2-0 in the south western city of Voronezh on Wednesday, November 17. In what was the worst performance since the failure to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Slovenia, Russia were outplayed and torn apart. My prediction was also botched again, but at least this was a friendly. In my opinion, this game is a huge indicator for Dick Advocaat to rethink the current formations and positions.

The first half was a complete Belgian domination with a few sporadic Russian attacks. Russia were barley able to mount a counter attack with clean passing and positioning. The problems seen on the field are very similar to those seen against Macedonia in October. The back four operated horribly as they could barely mark the Belgian attackers. Ignashevich and Vasilli Berezutski left a major hole in the center for the Belgians to score. Roman Shishkin was also substandard on his debut but he cant be judged based on one game. The first goal may have been a freak accident, but the miscommunication between Akinfeev and his defenders also happened against Slovakia earlier this Fall. The only defender to praise is Zhirkov who did well in his attempts to get the ball forward and provide crosses to the attackers.

The midfield and forward line were better in the second half than the in first but were still unable to advance forward until the last couple of minutes. As in the game with Macedonia, the center of the formation suffered a breakdown. Dzagoev and Bilyaletdinov did well to provide crosses but there were no players in the center to capitalize. Much of the space in the center portion of the field was left open for the Belgians to run through. Up front Pogrebnyak and Arshavin performed poorly however the introduction of Aleksandr Bukharov did change the flow of the game to Russias favor towards the end of the game. Bukharov is, in my opinion, beginning to emerge as one of the regular strikers in the team possibly replacing Sychev, Pavlyuchenko, or Pogrebnyak.

Thats all I have to say about this game. I will do another post in a few weeks to provide my view on some tactical and positional changes., November 19th, 2010

Russia 0 - 2 Belgium

November 17, 2010
Central'nyj Stadion Profsoyuzov - Voronezh
Referee: Hannes Kaasik (Estonia)
Scorer: Romelu Lukaku 2, 73
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Roman Shishkin, Vasily Berezutsky (Viktor Vasin, 46), Sergei Ignashevich (Igor Semshov, 63), Yuri Zhirkov, Konstantin Zyryanov (Pavel Mamayev, 63), Roman Shirokov, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Alexander Bukharov, 74), Alan Dzagoyev, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Andrey Arshavin
Coach - Dick Advocaat
Belgium: Jean-Francois Gillet, Daniel Van Buyten, Vincent Kompany, Laurent Ciman, Timmy Simons, Steven Defour, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard (Sebastien Pocognoli, 90), Jan Vertonghen, Romelu Lukaku ( Jelle Vossen, 75), Moussa Dembele (Vadis Odjidja Ofoe, 89)
Coach - Georges Leekens
Yellow Card: Hazard (48), Simons (85)

RIA Novosti

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