MX23RW : Thursday, October 22 14:47:46| >> :600:749040:749040:
Jun 15, 2016 at 2pm UK at Stade Pierre Mauroy
Russia
1-2
SlovakiaSlovakia
Glushakov (80')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Weiss (32'), Hamsik (45')

Live Commentary: Russia 1-2 Slovakia - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Euro 2016 Group B clash between Russia and Slovakia from Lille, which ended in a 2-1 Slovakia win.
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Russia and Slovakia continued their Euro 2016 campaigns with a Group B clash in Lille on Wednesday afternoon.

At the interval, it was Slovakia that led by two goals courtesy of efforts from Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik.

Russia had one back in the 80th minute when Denis Glushakov headed home from close range, but Slovakia held on to record their first win of the competition.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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Afternoon all! Sports Mole's live Euro 2016 coverage continues from Lille as Russia take on Slovakia in Group B. Russia picked up a 1-1 draw in their group opener against England on Saturday night, but Slovakia lost 2-1 to Wales. It is not exactly a must-win match for either team, but defeat for Slovakia would leave them in a very precarious position in the section. Let's hope for a good match!

This clash will be the 21st meeting between Russia and Slovakia in international football. Russia have won nine of their previous 20 matches, with Slovakia picking up four victories and the further seven fixtures finishing level. They have actually met three times in the finals of a European Championship and each has recorded one win, while the further clash finished all square.

Their last competitive clash came in October 2011 during qualification for Euro 2012 and it was Russia that recorded a 1-0 victory away from home. That said, Slovakia won the reverse match in Moscow courtesy of a 27th-minute strike from Miroslav Stoch, who I can reveal is on the bench for his country this afternoon. Right, time for me to reveal the all-important team news from Lille...

TEAMS:

RUS: Akinfeev; Schennikov, Ignashevich, V.Berezutski, Smolnikov; Smolov, Neustadter, Golovin, Shatov, Kokorin; Dzyuba

SVK: Kozacik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan; Mak, Kucka, Pecovsky, Hamsik, Weiss; Duda


As expected, Russia are unchanged from their 1-1 draw with England on Saturday night, which once again means that Artem Dzyuba will lead the line with support from Fedor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin in wide positions. Vasili Bereztuski, who scored the equaliser against England, once again captains the team from centre-back, while his brother Aleksei is again on the bench for the Russians.

Adam Lallana and Oleg Shatov in action during the Euro 2016 Group B game between England and Russia on June 11, 2016© AFP


Slovakia boss Jan Kozak, however, has decided to make changes. Ondrej Duda, who scored against Wales, comes into the team at centre-forward, while there is also a place at left-back for Tomas Hubocan, who takes the place of Dusan Svento. Michal Duris is the player that has made way in the final third, while Patrik Hrosovky drops to the bench, allowing Viktor Pecovsky to start in central midfield.

So there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just over 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild afternoon in Lille. I will speak about Slovakia a little bit later, but let's start with Russia, who have been threatened with expulsion from this competition following the trouble in Marseille at the weekend. Ugly scenes occurred both before and at the end of their 1-1 draw with England and there was also some trouble overnight in Lille, but not on the same scale as what happened last week.

Hopefully the bulk of the trouble is behind us, so let's focus on the football. In truth, Russia were very fortunate to gain a point against England on Saturday night. They were out-played for long spells in Marseille and it did appear that England would claim all the points after Eric Dier scored in the 73rd minute. Vasili Berezutski, however, had other ideas as the big centre-back equalised two minutes into stoppage time. As a result, Group B is very delicately poised as things stand!

Raheem Sterling and Igor Smolnikov during the Euro 2016 Group B game between England and Russia on June 11, 2016© AFP


Wales take on England in Lyon tomorrow afternoon and it is the Dragons that currently top the group following a 2-1 win over Slovakia at the weekend. Just a reminder that the top two in each group will advance into the round of 16, but so will the four best third-placed teams, which actually makes it quite difficult not to qualify. I still fancy England, Wales and Russia to advance from Group B when all is said and done, but the picture could be very difficult once England's result against Wales is in.

Russia will be attempting to make it through the group stages of a European Championship for just the second time in their history. They went out in the group stages of Euro 1996, Euro 2004 and Euro 2012, but did make the semi-finals of Euro 2008 before losing to Spain. If they are to make an impression in this competition, an improvement will be needed from their England performance.

Leonid Slutsky's qualified for this summer's European championships after finishing second behind Austria in Group G. They won six of their 10 matches, drawing twice and losing twice. They also only conceded five times during qualification, but their defence was breached seven times in their last three friendly matches and did not look too secure for long spells of the England game at the weekend.

Russia's forward Artyom Dzyuba kicks teh ball during a friendly football match Hungary vs Russia at Groupama Arena in Budapest on November 18, 2014© Getty Images


In terms of what is ahead for Russia, they will complete their Group B campaign against Wales on Monday and that could be a key fixture depending on what happens in Lyon tomorrow. If Russia were to win here, they would move onto four points and could lead going into the final round of fixtures if England overcome Wales. This is a massive game for both Russia and Slovakia, that is for sure.

Talking of Slovakia, they opened their Group B campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Wales on Saturday afternoon. Duda cancelled out a Gareth Bale effort to leave the two teams level just past the hour, but Hal Robson-Kanu won it for Wales in the 81st minute. As a result, Slovakia are playing catch-up in the group and really cannot afford to suffer another defeat this afternoon if they are to advance.

Somewhat surprisingly, Slovakia are competing in their first ever European Championships. They played in their first major tournament at the 2010 World Cup and actually made the round of 16 during a successful competition. In terms of qualification for Euro 2016, Jan Kozak's side finished second behind Spain in Group C – picking up 22 points during an impressive 10-game campaign.

Wales's Gareth Bale and Slovakia's Jan Durica during their Euro 2016 Group B match on June 11, 2016© AFP


Slovakia's standout result during qualification was a 2-1 win over Spain in October 2014, while they also won 1-0 in Ukraine. In terms of recent results, Slovakia entered the tournament off the back of a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland, but they beat Germany 3-1 at the end of May and were also 3-1 winners over Georgia. In fact, Slovakia have only lost one of their last nine matches - the 2-1 defeat to Wales.

Slovakia do not need to win to keep their qualification hopes alive, but defeat would leave them in a difficult position ahead of their final Group B clash with England on June 20. Right, little over 10 minutes until kickoff in Lille and the atmosphere is electric inside the stadium. Let's hope that both sets of supporters can behave themselves throughout the 90 minutes and indeed into the night.

Belgium's Radja Nainggolan and Marouane Fellaini are certainly up there for me!


Confirmation of the two teams this afternoon...

RUS: Akinfeev; Schennikov, Ignashevich, V.Berezutski, Smolnikov; Smolov, Neustadter, Golovin, Shatov, Kokorin; Dzyuba

SVK: Kozacik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan; Mak, Kucka, Pecovsky, Hamsik, Weiss; Duda


Here we go then - the national anthems and pre-match handshakes have just taken place! It is Russia against Slovakia in Group B and a win for either could take them to the top of the section. Let's hope that we are talking about the football and nothing else over the next couple of hours.

KICKOFF! Russia get the first period underway in Lille...

... far from a full house inside the stadium this afternoon and in truth, that is not too much of a surprise. Many would have been put off after what happened in the stands when Russia faced England at the weekend. Fairly open start here as Russia make early ground down the right.

Smolnikov appeared to pick up an injury to his hand after he went flying into a challenge with Durica, but the Russian left-back seems fit to continue. Down the other end, Slovakia have the chance to deliver a free kick into the Russian box, but Kokorin heads behind at the near post.

Just a reminder that England take on Wales tomorrow afternoon in this group and you suspect that both sets of players will be keeping a close eye on this match. Not an awful lot to report in the opening six minutes here as both teams continue to battle for early possession of the football.

Dzyuba is not exactly the quickest striker in the world and the centre-forward has been asked to chase a couple of through balls in the opening eight minutes - not his game! You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in this match. I think it will be very tight.

Duda, who scored against Wales at the weekend, seems very isolated in the Slovakia attack at the moment. Hamsik has not really been in the match thus far and Slovakia will need a strong performance from the Napoli midfielder if they are to pick up a positive result this afternoon.

CLOSE! Just as I mention Hamsik, he springs into life! The midfielder finds space down the left before unleashing a strike towards goal and his effort is not too far over the crossbar!

Slovakia have a free kick in a dangerous area here as Golovin fells Kucka...

... Slovakia play it short and Durica releases a strike, but his effort was always wide.

Good spell for Slovakia in the last few minutes as they continue to put pressure on Russia's defence and in truth, they look the team more likely to make the breakthrough in this Group B clash.

There is no question that Slovakia are playing the better football at the moment as they continue to move the ball in the final third, but Russia are such a massive team that you expect them to cause problems from set pieces. In many ways, Russia have started this game as they did against England.

Smolov strikes one from distance as Russia break forward, but his effort was always wide.

Dzyuba goes down under a challenge from Durica and Russia want a penalty, but the referee is not interested and points for a corner. I have seen them given, but it would have been harsh!

Smolnikov again shows serious pace in a wide position as he makes the most of a through ball from Shatov, but Slovakia manage to clear their lines. We are still waiting for the first serious chance of this match as both teams continue to cancel each other out. It is as close as was expected here.

CHANCE! Dzyuba rises inside the Slovakia box and attempts to steer a header towards the bottom corner, but it just did not have enough power and Kozacik was on hand to claim.

Weiss has just started to see more of the ball for Slovakia and his team look dangerous when the number seven has possession. Robert Mak advances into a one-on-one situation with Akinfeev after Russia kept a high defensive line, but the striker was clearly in an offside position.

CLOSE! Russia create easily the best chance of the match as Dzyuba feeds Smolov in an advanced position, but the attacker's effort is just and I mean just wide of the post!

Just a few signs that Russia are taking control of this match as they continue to look dangerous in the final third. Dzyuba is causing all sorts of problems with his pure presence in the final third.

Russia break clear once again and Shatov feeds a low cross into Dzyuba, but the number 22 attempts to leave it for Smolov and Slovakia survive another dangerous moment. It is Russia in control of this match at the moment as they work the ball into wide positions and deliver!

GOAL! Russia 0-1 Slovakia (Weiss)

Breakthrough! Slovakia take the lead in the 32nd minute of this match as Weiss collects a sweeping pass from Hamsik before cutting inside two defenders and curling his effort into the bottom corner!

Russia have been the better team in this first period, but they now have work to do in Lille.

As it stands, Wales would remain top of Group B on three points, while Slovakia would be second due to an inferior goal difference. England and Russia would remain third and fourth on one point. That said, I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals in this end-to-end contest.

Russia had to come from behind to draw with England at the weekend and they will again have to come from behind if they are to avoid defeat this afternoon. Pressure from Russia at the moment.

Russia continue to deliver high balls into the Slovakia box and it is causing some problems. Dzyuba remains a threat with his size and aerial prowess, but the overall quality into the big striker has not been great in this first period. I am still not sure about this Slovakia defence to be honest.

Super feet from Hamsik as the midfielder cuts inside two Russian defenders before striking towards goal, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Hamsik has been class in this first period.

GOAL! Russia 0-2 Slovakia (Hamsik)

Oh my word what a goal! Slovakia take a two-goal lead in this Group B clash as Hamsik collects a short corner before absolutely rattling one into the far corner. Some strike from the midfielder!

HALF-TIME: Russia 0-2 Slovakia

So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Slovakia leading Russia 2-0 courtesy of goals from Weiss and Hamsik, who doubled his team's lead in the final moments of the first half. Russia have had their moments in the final third, but have one again been disappointing overall.

STATS! Russia have actually enjoyed more of the possession (58%) thus far, but they have only managed one shot on target from their five attempts. Slovakia have had two attempts on target from five shots and both of those found the back of the net. No bookings to report in Lille.

BENCH WATCH! In fairness to Dzyuba, the big striker has been Russian's first player in the first period, but he needs some support in the final third. Ivanov and Yusupov are among those available for Slutsky and surely alterations will need to be made. As for Slovakia, Kozak will be delighted with what he has seen thus far, but the likes of Duris, Nemec and Stoch are all available this afternoon.

RESTART! Slovakia resume the action in Lille...

... RUSSIA SUBS! Golovin and Neustadter are replaced by Glushakov and Mamaev.

BOOKING! Durica (Slovakia) is booked for a late challenge on Dzyuba.

Half-chance for Slovakia as Duda rises highest to meet a corner inside the Russian box, but his header was always moving over the crossbar. Russia really need some inspiration here.

Skrtel is fortunate to escape a yellow card here after bringing Shatov to the ground with a poor challenge in a wide position. Surprisingly there as only been one booking in this match so far!

Not an awful lot to report in terms of chances in this second period, but Russia are certainly committing more players forward in a bid to halve the deficit. Slovakia just need to manage the game and potentially nick another goal on the counter-attack, which would put it beyond Russia.

Smolnikov again uses his pace to drive down the right for Russia, but the pass into the full-back is not good enough and Slovakia can break down the other end. It is Mak that strikes towards goal, but Akinfeev is on hand to make the save - lightening counter-attack from the Slovakians there.

Shatov has the chance to test Kozacik after finding all sorts of space outside the Slovakia box, but the attacker's effort is straight over the crossbar. Very disappointing it must be said!

Weiss continues to cause problems with his pace in a wide position and Russia do not look capable of dealing with the number seven when he cuts into the box. You still get the feeling that there is another goal in this match and it would either end the contest or put Russia straight back in it.

Just a reminder that Russia have already made two of their permitted three changes, while Slovakia are yet to look to their bench this afternoon. At the moment, Slovakia are very comfortable here.

Slovakia are not too interested in breaking forward here as they sit deep and contain Russia, who are struggling in the final third. A dangerous cross from Kokorin does cause a problem inside the Slovakia box, but Durica is on hand to head clear. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining here.

Another half-chance for Russia as Kokorin finds space outside the Slovakia box before curling one towards the bottom corner, but it is deflected into the arms of Kozacik. Good football there.

CHANCES! Smolov has a close-range strike blocked inside the Slovakia box as Russia continue to make the most of their territorial advantage. Slovakia are under some pressure here.

SLOVAKIA SUB! Nemec replaces Duda for Slovakia.

If England lose against Wales tomorrow, they would be in all sorts of bother ahead of their final Group B match against Slovakia, that is for sure. This section is so delicately poised as things stand, but it appears that Russia will be stuck at the bottom with one point from two matches.

SLOVAKIA SUB! Weiss is replaced by Svento for Slovakia.

In fairness to Russia, they have been much better in this second period, but their lack of a potent player in the final third has been extremely evident. Little over 15 minutes to play in Lille.

Not much of an atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment, but the Slovakia supporters are in good spirits as their team close on their first win of the competition. Can Russia turn this around in the final minutes? Well, they have just forced a free kick in a wide position through Smolov...

... RUSSIA SUB! Shirokov replaces Kokorin in Russia's final change.

Smolov delivers into the Slovakia box, but Hamsik clears with a strong header!

Russia have been threatened with expulsion from this competition due to crowd trouble, but they might well be heading out of the competition with defeat here. That would not be confirmed, but they would need to beat Wales in their last match to stand a chance of making the next round.

SLOVAKIA SUB! Mak is replaced by Duris for Slovakia.

GOAL! Russia 1-2 Slovakia (Glushakov)

Russia are back in this match as Glushakov heads a Shatov cross into the back of the net!

Slovakia were so comfortable in this match, but now Russia sense another late rally as they continue to deliver into the penalty box. It is going to be a long 10 minutes or so here!

Russia have no changes left and Shatov looks to have pulled his groin. You can just sense the tension inside the stadium as Slovakia continue to drop deep. They need to get out here!

Glushakov again for Russia, but his effort from just outside the box is wide of the post!

You just get the feeling that there is going to be one last big chance in this match, but Slovakia have managed to ease the pressure with a break forward and they are currently in the Russian half.

Dzyuba turns inside the Russia box and attempts to release a strike, but it is wonderful defending from Hubocan, who makes the block. Good grief Slovakia have made this hard for themselves.

We are into the first of three additional minutes here.

Berezutsky heads wide of the post and that might be that for Russia this afternoon.

Not long left here and Russia have possession of the ball once again.

FULL-TIME: Russia 1-2 Slovakia

So there we have it. Slovakia hold on to record a 2-1 win over Russia and throw Group B wide open. That was very close at the end! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Until next time!

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