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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 lead.

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., 12 October 2015

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Russia 2-0 Montenegro
Euro-2016. Qualifying
October 9, 2015
Moscow. Otkrytie Arena
Attendance: 37.800
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Russia: Akinfeev, Kuzmin, Ignashevich, A. Berezutski, D. Kombarov, Kokorin, Denisov, Dzagoev (Cheryshev, 86), Shirokov (c), Shatov (Mamaev, 69), Dzyuba (Smolov, 84)
Coach: Leonid Slutski
Montenegro: Mijatovich, Savich (c), Simich, Simic, Balich, Rodich (Marusich , 67), Kashchelan, N. Vukcevich (Boljevich, 85), Nikolich (Mugosha, 46), Mandich, Bechiraj
Coach: Branko Brnovich
Goals: Kuzmin (33), Kokorin (37 pen)
Yellow cards: Rodich (36)

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