MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 15:33:41| >> :120:15585:15585:
Jun 16, 2021 at 2pm UK at Saint-Petersburg Stadium

Kamara (22'), O'Shaughnessy (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Miranchuk (45+2')
Barinov (27'), Ozdoyev (34'), Dzhikiya (88')

Aleksei Miranchuk: 'Result all that mattered'

Aleksei Miranchuk: 'Result all that mattered'
© Reuters
Aleksei Miranchuk scored the winner against Finland.

Russia's match-winner Aleksei Miranchuk insisted victory was more important than the quality of his goal which secured a 1-0 win against Finland.

Atalanta forward Miranchuk's decisive strike in first-half stoppage time sealed a must-win game for Russia in St Petersburg following their opening 3-0 Group B defeat to Belgium on Saturday.

Miranchuk, who joined Atalanta from Lokomotiv Moscow for a reported £13million in August 2020, told a press conference: "Yes, I scored a good goal, but it's not important.

"What is important is that we completed our task, won the game, got the much-needed three points and now we want to build on that.

"At this stage, the victory was most important. We have completed the task and are moving on. Have we missed a lot of chances? That's football. It is important that we are creating chances."

Miranchuk provided the game's only moment of quality when he dinked a curling left-footed shot into the top corner after playing a one-two on the edge of the area with skipper Artem Dzyuba.

Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov hailed Miranchuk's decision to swap Moscow for Bergamo in a bid to keep improving.

Cherchesov told a press conference: "I supported Miranchuk's decision to move to Europe, to get out of his comfort zone and play in one of the world's best leagues.

"I'm happy with how he is making progress and I hope he'll start getting more game time at Atalanta next season. It will be good for both us and the player."

Cherchesov added: "The players were a real team today. They fulfilled what they had to do and got the win.

"The formation I chose, I think, was right. To break down their defence we needed to use the wings and we did. The plan worked."

Russia were given an early reprieve when Finland striker Joel Pohjanpalo's flying third-minute header was ruled out for offside.

Finland captain Paulus Arajuuri told a press conference that the marginal VAR decision had a detrimental effect on his side.

"I don't know how far Joel was offside, but it was so close," Arajuuri said. "It's all about fine margins and today they didn't go our way.

"It gives you a huge energy boost when you score and when it's ruled out, it takes a lot of energy out of you too."

Both sides can still progress to the round of 16. Russia will play Denmark in their final group game on Monday while Finland face Belgium.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25292276
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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