Russia v Sweden, 18 June 2008

Score2-0 to Russia
RefereeFrank De Bleeckere
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group D
VenueTivoli Neu Stadion, Innsbruck
Attendance30,772
Kick-Off: 8.45pm local Assistant referees: Peter Hermans (Belgium) Alex Verstraeten (Belgium) Fourth official: Kristinn Jakobsson (Iceland) Man of the Match: Andrei Arshavin (Russia) Guus Hiddink's gamble of taking the previously suspended Andrey Arshavin to UEFA EURO 2008 paid off in spectacular fashion with the forward putting in a fine performance as Russia downed Sweden 2-0 to set up a Basel quarter-final against the Netherlands. The FC Zenit St Petersburg player was a constant menace to a Sweden side requiring only a draw to stay above their opponents on goal difference, scoring Russia's second goal and striking the post in the second half. If Arshavin showed what Russia had been missing in their first two games, his team-mates displayed class of their own when a fine move resulted in Roman Pavlyuchenko's breakthrough strike after 24 minutes in Innsbruck. With much of the talk in the build-up to the Group D decider centring around Arshavin and Zlatan Ibrahimović, the news that both were starting came as something of a surprise. Hiddink had hinted that Arshavin was not match fit while the condition of Ibrahimović's knee meant the target man was a doubt until the last minute. The Russia coach was at least true to his promise that his side would chase victory from the off. Arshavin's pass into the middle of the Sweden area saw Igor Semshov and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov collide with the goal at their mercy, although Lars Lagerbäck's men threatened in return soon after. Anders Svensson's cross found Ibrahimović, only for the No10's downward header to be collected by Igor Akinfeev with Henrik Larsson lurking. Arshavin and Bilyaletdinov missed chances as the quarter-hour approached before the former sent in a cross-shot that goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson tipped over. From Konstantin Zyryanov's corner, Yuri Zhirkov's thunderous shot zipped just wide. Then Russia's moment arrived. Arshavin released Zyryanov down the right and the midfielder in turn found Aleksandr Anyukov's run inside the box. The right-back rolled a pass to Pavlyuchenko and the tall striker calmly finished for his second goal of the finals. Sweden almost levelled moments later but Larsson's clever header from a Mikael Nilsson cross bounced back off the bar. At the other end, Pavlyuchenko's next effort struck an upright after another slick interchange involving Arshavin and Bilyaletdinov. Five minutes after the break and Russia had their second goal. Makeshift left-back Zhirkov found himself racing away from the Sweden defence before he crossed for the returning hero – on the run, Arshavin had no problem directing the ball past Isaksson's right hand. Sweden were rocked and although their players began to react in the final third of the pitch, the best they could manage was an Olof Mellberg header that flew harmlessly over Akinfeev's crossbar. It was turning into the Andrei Arshavin show and after the little maestro was booked for upending substitute Kim Källström, he was almost through on goal again but was finally outmuscled by Fredrik Stoor. With the contest entering its closing stages, Russia should have enhanced their advantage as their enterprising attacking play produced several late chances. Zyryanov went close when his deflected attempt came back off the post before Pavlyuchenko spurned two great opportunities – first heading straight into the grateful hands of Isaksson, then mis-hitting a shot with only the goalkeeper to beat. No matter: the 2-0 scoreline was enough for them to overhaul Sweden by three points and finish second behind Spain.

2  Russia

Manager: Guus Hiddink

0  Sweden

Manager: Lars Lagerback

Goals:

Roman Pavlyuchenko 24 G
Andrei Arshavin 50 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

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

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson
Defender Daniel Andersson
Defender Petter Hansson
Defender Fredrik Stoor
Defender/Centre back Olof Mellberg
Midfielder Freddie Ljungberg (captain)
Midfielder Mikael Nilsson
Midfielder Anders Svensson
Forward Johann Elmander
Forward Henrik Larsson

Substitutions:

Ivan Saenko for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov 66
Vladimir Bystrov for Roman Pavlyuchenko 90

Substitutions:

Kim Kallstrom for Daniel Andersson 55
Marcus Allback for Mikael Nilsson 79

Cards:

Sergei Semak 57 Y
Andrei Arshavin 66 Y
Denis Kolodin 76 Y

Cards:

Andreas Isaksson 10 Y
Johann Elmander 49 Y

On the bench:

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

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rami Shaaban
Goalkeeper Johan Wiland
Defender Mikael Dorsin
Defender/Midfielder Seb Larsson
Midfielder Kim Kallstrom
Midfielder Tobias Linderoth
Forward Marcus Allback

Comments:

- Russia have survived the group phase for the first time since 1988 when they took part as the Soviet Union. That year, they finished runners-up to the Netherlands, their opponents in the next round. - Russia coach Guus Hiddink has maintained his 100% progression record at major tournaments (two European Championships, three World Cups). - Russia are the third team at Euro 2008 to qualify for the KO stage despite losing their opening match, following Turkey and Italy.

Comments:

- Sweden are the second team at Euro 2008, and the ninth in history, who failed to survive the group despite winning their opening match. The Czech Republic suffered a similar fate earlier this week. - This marks the second time Sweden have failed to make it out of the group at a European Championship tournament. The first time was in 2000. - Henrik Larsson has failed to score at a major tournament for the first time in six tries. He scored at least once at the 1994, 2002 and 2006 World Cup and at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004. - The 2-0 defeat is Sweden's biggest ever in this competition. They had never before lost by a margin of more than one goal.