Slovakia compounds Russia's problems with 2-1 win

Russia now in danger of early elimination from the European Championship after a 2-0 loss to Slovakia.

Published: 15th June 2016 09:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2016 09:02 PM   |  A+A-


LILLE: Russia couldn't find a way back this time, leaving the team in danger of early elimination from the European Championship after a 2-0 loss to Slovakia on Wednesday.

Marek Hamsik's defense-splitting pass set up Vladimir Weiss for Slovakia's first goal. Hamsik later powered in the second at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, leaving Russia with only one point from two matches in Group B.

The Russians pulled one back in the 80th minute through Denis Glushakov's header, but the team still has problems both on and off the field.

The flare set off by Russian fans after Glushakov's goal could prove problematic for the federation, which has been threatened with disqualification from Euro 2016 by UEFA if there is further misbehavior by its fans in stadiums.

On Saturday in Marseille, Russian fans attacked their English rivals after their team scored late to earn 1-1 draw. There was no repeat of the violence in Lille, however.

Russia will next face Wales on Monday in Toulouse, while Slovakia plays England at the same time in Saint-Etienne.

The composed Slovaks, who won a match at the continental championship for the first time, exposed the ineffectiveness of a disjointed Russian side that lacked creativity until the final minutes.

The opener was a combination of Hamsik's vision and hapless defending.

From around the halfway line, Hamsik spotted Weiss in space on the edge of the penalty area and sent a long, diagonal pass to the winger. Weiss befuddled the defense as he cut through before guiding the ball into the net in the 32nd minute.

The 26-year-old Weiss, who left European soccer two years ago to play in the little-regarded Qatari league, was swamped by his teammates after scoring.

Weiss and Hamsik weren't yet finished with embarrassing the Russians, combining even more intelligently and stylishly for the second.

A short corner from Weiss left the Russians in disarray. It reached Hamsik, who was gifted the space to curl a powerful shot from a tight angle in the net off the inside of the far post.

Russia had only hit the target once when Glushakov pulled a goal back in the 80th minute after Oleg Shatov's cross was headed in.

But it would be the only time Russia found the net and soon they could be leaving France because of its team's failings rather than its fans' misconduct.


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