Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Russia dominates at Lokomotiv

In a match just concluding at Lokomotiv Stadium, Russia easily defeated Finland 3-0. In truth, the scoreline was flattering for the Finnish squad who never seemed to play at the level of quality we're used to seeing from them and at best they were hoping for a scoreless draw. Igor Akinfeev of CSKA Moscow continues to defy his youthful age of twenty-two years, exhibiting calm and leadership in route to keeping the Russian goal clean. With Guus Hiddink employing a 3-5-2 in which Koni teammates Sergey Ignashevich and Vasili Berezutskiy were teamed with Zenit Saint Petersburg's Aleksandr Anyukov, the Russian back-line stood strong and didn't allow the Finns to break through. Throughout the entire match Russia was on the offense, in a splendid and unrelenting attack. While finishing wasn't up to par, or else the score would have been doubled, they constantly placed Finland under the attack and never allowed them a moment to consider attacking options. Finally after a series of goal mouth exchanges and close misses Petri Pasanen was the unfortunate victim of a own goal for Finland at the twenty-second minute mark and Russia took a 1-0 lead. Wave after wave of Russia attacks continued and much to their credit, the Finns held them out until Sergei Semak centered a ball across the mouth of the goal that rattled in off of defender Veli Lampi with twenty-five minutes left. At the urging of the great supporters at Lokomotiv, Russia was insatiable for more goals and after numerous opportunities squandered, Andrei Arshavin raced beyond the diving Finnish 'keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and struck a perfect left-footed shot to the top far corner, bringing the match to a 3-0 where it stood.

The victory sends Russia to second place in a tie presently with Wales who face Germany later on today.

Igor Akinfeev,Aleksandr Aniukov,Vasili Berezutsky,Sergei Ignashevich,Igor Denisov,Sergei Semak,Igor Semshov,Yuri Zhirkov,Konstatin Zurianov,Andrei Arshavin (Alan Dzagoev 90'),Pavel Pogrebniak (Ivan Saenko 60')

Jussi Jaaskelainen,Sami Hyypia,Veli Lampi,Petri Pasanen,Hannu Tihinen,Roman Eremenko (Teemu Tainio 65'),Markus Heikkinen,Joonas Kolkka,Mika Vayrynen (Paulus Roiha 69'),Daniel Sjolund (Jari Litmanen 85'),Mikael Forssell