Finland played Russia in their second game of the UEFA 2020 EURO in St Petersburg.

After a comfortable win by Belgium, Russia needed to win keep their hopes for qualification alive while Finland’s win over Denmark, which will be remembered for other reasons, meant one point would have been enough for qualification.

Finland believed they had their dream start after Jukka Raitala intercepted a pass to the flank from the Russian defence and crossed the ball to Joel Pohjanpalo who headed the ball into the net, however it was ruled offside.

A sigh of relief for the Russian fans and players when the goal was chalked off which led to a couple of chances that did not trouble the Finnish goalkeeper.

At the 36th minute, Vyacheslav Karavayev came close to score after meeting a pass across the box but he was prevented from cleanly kicking the ball by Jere Uronen.

6 minutes were added to extra time due to Mário Fernandes’ treatment on the pitch after an awkward fall on his back and Russia took the lead in the 47th minute. Artem Dzyuba’s pass to Aleksei Miranchuk inside the box allowed him to place the ball onto his favoured left foot and curl into the top corner of the goal with no chance for Lukáš Hrádecký to save it.

The first half ended with Russia in the lead and Finland had to play riskier to gain anything from the game.

Second Half

Teemu Pukki almost came close to equalise in the 49th minute but Igor Diveev’s sliding block prevented the goalkeeper to come into action.

Russia could have doubled their lead in the 65th minute if Rifat Zhemaletdinov’s shot curved into the inside of the post instead of going wide.

Finland were once again almost punished for their mistake by allowing Daler Kuzyayev time and space to place his shot. The attempt resulted in Hrádecký making a good save.

The game ended 1-0 to Russia with Finland failing to capitalise on the sometimes wobbly Russian defence but the lack of quality on both sides posed a real positive for Denmark, who can sneak into the qualifying positions.

Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 Twitter

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