Greece v Russia, 14 June 2008

Score1-0 to Russia
RefereeRoberto Rossetti
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group D
VenueRed Bull Arena, Salzburg
Attendance31,063
Kick-Off: 8.45pm local Assistant referees: Alessandro Griselli (Italy) Paolo Calcagno (Italy) Fourth official: Olegário Benquerença (Portugal) Man of the Match: Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia) Russia's young stars had been urged to "learn fast" by their coach Guus Hiddink and they came of age in Salzburg as Konstantin Zyryanov's solitary goal earned them a 1-0 win against Greece, thus ending Otto Rehhagel's team's reign as kings of Europe. After both sides had lost their opening matches in UEFA EURO 2008 Group D, the stakes were high at the Stadion Wals-Siezenheim, but Russia emerged victorious to knock defending champions Greece out of the tournament. The only goal will haunt Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis long into the night as he inexplicably chased a cross by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov that had already cleared his posts by five or six metres all the way to the touchline, and he was made to pay the full price for his 33rd-minute excursion. The Olympiacos FC keeper was beaten to the ball by Russia captain Sergei Semak, who hooked it back over his head and Zyryanov was on hand to guide it ever so simply into an unguarded net. Roman Pavlyuchenko, who recovered from a groin injury to start, was a constant threat to Greece and he created the first real opening in the 14th minute with a curling shot from the corner of the penalty area and Nikopolidis had to be at full stretch to tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner, Yuri Zhirkov flashed a shot a metre wide and Russia appeared the stronger of the two teams in the opening exchanges. The closest Greece came to Russia's goal in the first half came in the 20th minute when Angelos Charisteas just failed to connect with a free-kick cross from his captain, Angelos Basinas. Midfielder Igor Semshov cleared the danger in highly irregular fashion, the ball bouncing up off his boot and into his face before passing harmlessly wide. Nikopolidis was kept on his toes early in the second half by Pavlyuchenko, who twice fired in his direction and forced him into saves, and the FC Spartak Moskva striker then cut inside two defenders before dragging his shot into the side netting. Greece, realising their hold on the European crown was slipping, rallied and Basinas had an excellent opportunity to level in the 55th minute, though his left-footed shot from close to the penalty spot was much too high. Russian counterattacks were always a danger from that point and a clever back-heel by Pavlyuchenko almost set up Bilyaletdinov for a second, but he could not find the target from a promising position. Although Greece had more to lose in the closing stages, Russia appeared far more likely to add to their tally than concede an equaliser, until Fanis Gekas finally found the Russian net late on, only to be ruled offside. Russia face Sweden in their final Group D game on Wednesday needing victory to reach the quarter-finals, while Greece take on section winners Spain with little to play for but pride.

0  Greece

Manager: Otto Rehhagel

1  Russia

Manager: Guus Hiddink

Goals:

Goals:

Konstantin Zyryonov 33 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis
Defender Trianos Dellas
Defender/Midfielder Angelos Basinas (captain)
Midfielder Ioannis Amanatidis

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev
Midfielder Denis Kolodin
Midfielder Sergei Semak (captain)
Midfielder Igor Semshov
Midfielder Dmitri Torbinsky
Midfielder Yuri Zhirkov
Midfielder Konstantin Zyryonov
Midfielder/Forward Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

Substitutions:

Giorgios Karagounis for Giorgos Seitaridis 40
Theofanis Gekas for Nikos Liberopoulos 60
Stelios Giannakopoulos for Ioannis Amanatidis 79

Substitutions:

Ivan Saenko for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov 69
Vassili Berezutskiy for Yuri Zhirkov 87

Cards:

Giorgios Karagounis 42 Y
Nikos Liberopoulos 58 Y

Cards:

Ivan Saenko 77 Y
Dmitri Torbinsky 85 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias
Goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas
Defender Loukas Vyntra
Midfielder Ioannis Goumas
Midfielder Giorgios Karagounis
Midfielder Alexandros Tziolis
Forward Theofanis Gekas

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov
Goalkeeper Viacheslav Malafeev
Defender Renat Yanbaev
Defender/Midfielder Roman Shirokov
Midfielder Vladimir Bystrov
Midfielder Oleg Ivanov
Forward Roman Adamov
Forward Ivan Saenko
Forward Dmitry Sychev

Comments:

- Next to hosts Switzerland, Greece are the second country to be knocked out of Euro 2008. Greece are the fourth defending champion not to have made it through the group phase. - Greece are the first defending champion to lose and fail to score in their opening two matches, and the only country that has not scored at Euro 2008. The last country that failed to score at a European Championship edition was Denmark in 2000. - Giorgios Karagounis received his fifth career yellow card at the European Championship. He has now equalled the record for most yellow cards set by Gheorghe Hagi in 2000, Pavel Nedved in 2004 and Gianluca Zambrotta in 2008.

Comments:

- Russia can become the eighth country to reach the knock-out phase despite losing the first match. They could also be the first to do so having lost the first match by a three goal margin. - Due to Russia's win, Spain have qualified for the quarter-finals as group winners. Russia need a win against Sweden to reach the last eight.