Italy v Russia, 11 June 1996

Score2-1 to Italy
RefereeLes Mottram
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group C
VenueAnfield
Attendance35,120
Kick-off: 5.30pm Italy got their tournament off to the perfect start as goals in either half by Pierluigi Casiraghi earned Arrigo Sacchi's charges their first, and indeed only, victory of what was to be a short-lived English adventure. It took Casiraghi just five minutes to break the deadlock, following a mistake at the back by their Russian opponents. Midfielder Angelo di Livio picked up a poor clearance by Stanislav Cherchesov and played in the unmarked Lazio striker, who drove a first-time shot into the bottom corner. Russia, however, hit back midway through the first half when when Viktor Onopko teed up Valeri Karpin, whose shot was blocked, but Ilya Tsymbalar was on hand to tuck away the rebound. Italy appeared rattled and struggled to rediscover their rhythm before the interval, but the appearance of Roberto Donadoni – still a class act – changed all that. Demetrio Albertini now had the help of a midfielder with experience and guile, and the Azzurri soon established their dominance, Gianfranco Zola's square pass producing another instant low finish from Casiraghi, who missed two further chances before going off injured. With Paolo Maldini completely negating the threat of Russia's fleet-footed Everton FC winger Andrei Kanchelskis, Italy were in charge and but for substitute Fabrizio Ravanelli squandering two presentable goalscoring chances in the final minutes, would have won by a more comfortable margin. Indeed, they were misses that would prove costly in the eventual qualification reckoning.

2  Italy

Manager: Arrigo Sacchi

1  Russia

Manager: Oleg Romantsev

Goals:

Pierluigi Casiraghi 5 G
Pierluigi Casiraghi 52 G

Goals:

Ilia Tsymbalar 21 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi
Defender Luigi Apolloni
Defender Paolo Maldini (captain)
Defender Roberto Mussi
Centre back Alessandro Costacurta
Midfielder Demetrio Albertini
Midfielder Angelo Di Livio
Midfielder Roberto Di Matteo
Forward Gianfranco Zola

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Stanisav Cherchesov
Defender Yuri Kovtun
Defender Viktor Onopko (captain)
Defender Omari Tetradze
Midfielder Andrei Kanchelskis
Midfielder Valery Karpin
Midfielder Alexandr Mostovoi
Midfielder Vladislav Radimov
Midfielder Ilia Tsymbalar
Forward Igor Kolyvanov

Substitutions:

Roberto Donadoni for Alessandro Del Piero 46
Diego Fuser for Angelo Di Livio 61
Fabrizio Ravanelli for Pierluigi Casiraghi 79

Substitutions:

Igor Yanovski for Yevgenii Bushmanov 46
Sergei Kiryakov for Valery Karpin 63
Igor Dobrovolski for Ilia Tsymbalar 72

Cards:

Demetrio Albertini 14 Y
Roberto Donadoni 83 Y

Cards:

Viktor Onopko 8 Y
Igor Kolyvanov 31 Y
Yuri Kovtun 82 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Luca Bucci
Goalkeeper Francesco Toldo
Defender Amedeo Carboni
Defender/Centre back Alessandro Nesta
Midfielder Dino Baggio
Midfielder Roberto Donadoni
Midfielder Diego Fuser
Midfielder Fabio Rossitto
Forward Enrico Chiesa

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Dimitri Kharine
Goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov
Midfielder Dmitri Khokhlov
Midfielder Igor Shalimov
Midfielder Igor Yanovski
Forward Sergei Kiryakov
Forward Igor Simutenkov