Russia qualify for EURO by defeating Montenegro
Right-back Oleg Kuzmin and Aleksandr Kokorin, from the spot, scored
as Russia claimed the second automatic qualifying place in Group G.
Oleg Kuzmin (right) celebrates after scoring the opening
goal for Russia. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Russia qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 by cementing second spot in Group
G with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Montenegro in Moscow.
Leonid Slutski's side struck twice in the space of five first-half minutes.
Earning his third cap, defender Oleg Kuzmin opened the scoring with an
improvised first-time finish just after the half-hour before Aleksandr
Kokorin made it two from the penalty spot.
Russia needed only a draw to qualify as group runners-up behind Austria,
but from the outset they made their intentions clear. However, the hosts
were finding it difficult to break down a stubborn Montenegro team who
had nothing to play for, until the breakthrough came from an unlikely
source in Kuzmin.
Igor Denisov clipped an intelligent ball forward and the onrushing Rubin
Kazan full-back – who went into the game having scored just once for club
and country since December 2013 – managed to guide it past debutant Montenegro
keeper Milan Mijatovic.
One soon became two. Vladimir Rodic fouled Dmitri Kombarov in the penalty
area and Kokorin sent Mijatovic the wrong way. The impressive Roman Shirokov
then saw his shot on the turn go narrowly over the bar after getting on
the end of a fine knockdown from Kokorin as Russia looked to extend their
Montenegro offered little going forward – failing to muster an attempt
on target – as Slutksi recorded his fourth successive win since being
appointed in August. At that stage Russia were four points adrift of second-placed
Sweden; they end the qualifying campaign two ahead of the Blagult, who
must now focus on the play-offs.
UEFA.com, 12 October
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Russia 2-0 Montenegro
October 9, 2015
Moscow. Otkrytie Arena
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Russia: Akinfeev, Kuzmin, Ignashevich, A. Berezutski, D. Kombarov, Kokorin,
Denisov, Dzagoev (Cheryshev, 86), Shirokov (c), Shatov (Mamaev, 69), Dzyuba
Coach: Leonid Slutski
Montenegro: Mijatovich, Savich (c), Simich, Simic, Balich, Rodich (Marusich
, 67), Kashchelan, N. Vukcevich (Boljevich, 85), Nikolich (Mugosha, 46),
Coach: Branko Brnovich
Goals: Kuzmin (33), Kokorin (37 – pen)
Yellow cards: Rodich (36)