Russia won at the Euros for the first time in seven games thanks to a 1-0 victory against Finland in St Petersburg, that moves them ahead of their opponents in Group B.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s men dominated the first half of action but were relatively shy in front of goal, with their first shot on target being Alexey Miranchuk’s decisive injury-time strike.
It was a lovely give-and-go between him and captain Artem Dzyuba and Mirachunk’s quick feet enabled him to get the ball onto his left foot and strike into the top corner through a sea of bodies with the minimal backlift disguising his shot slightly.
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Finland looked dangerous on the break, largely thanks to the dynamism of Joel Pohjanpalo, who appeared to have added to his goal against Denmark inside the first few minutes of today's game until VAR swiftly ruled out his headed goal for offside.
However, him and his strike partner Teemu Pukki lacked support from their teammates in the final third and the substitutions made by Markku Kanerva were perhaps a bit too late to impact the game.
Rifat Zhimaletdnivov and Daler Kuzyaev had big opportunities to put the game to bed in the second half, but Russia still managed to hold on for the win and going into their final group game next Monday against Denmark as second in the group, they will fancy their chances of progressing.
Finland, now third based on head-to-heads, have the tricky task of trying to get a result against Belgium that same day.
TALKING POINT - Is Russia's defence good enough?
Although Russia deserve full credit for winning today, there was still a plethora of defensive errors and mishaps that you feel stronger sides would pounce on much like Belgium did in their opening game.
The fact that Pohjanpalo was able to cause the Russia defence plenty of problems basically on his own says it all about how shaky the Russian defence is.
Throw in injuries to the experienced duo of Yuri Zhirkov and Mario Fernandes, the inexperience of Igor Diveev and goalkeeper Matvey Safonov and the fact that Kuzyaev is more of a winger than left-back and it is hard to see how an already suspect defence can withstand so much disruption without it affecting their performances.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Igor Diveev (Russia)
It may not have been the most assured performance from the 21-year-old CSKA Moscow centre-back, but in only his sixth international game he made two match-winning challenges. The first was a valiant block to send Pohjanpalo's shot out for a corner in the 20th minute after he was initially through on goal and the second was an incredible last-gasp tackle early in the second half to deny Pukki when he was through on goal too. Without those two defensive highlights from Diveev, I doubt Russia would have kept a clean sheet.
Finland: Hradecky 6, Toivio 6, Arajuuri 6, O'Shaughnessy 6, Raitala 6, Uronen 7, Lod 8, Schuller 6, Kamara 6, Pukki 6, Pohjanpalo 7...Subs: Kauko 6, Lappalainen 5, Soiri 6, Jensen N/A
Russia: Safonov 7, Dzhikiya 7, Diveev 8, Barinov 6, Kuzyaev 8, Fernandes 6, Ozdoev 7, Zobnin 7, Golovin 7, Miranchuk 8, Dzyuba 7...Subs: Karavaev 6, Zhemaletdinov 5, Sobolev N/A, Mukhin N/A
3' - GOAL!!! Pohjanpalo's done it again for Finland! Russia make yet another defensive error, as Raitala intercepts a pass on the right wing before whipping in a delightful cross for Pohjanpalo to head home.
5' - GOAL DISALLOWED!! Hang on, it's just been chalked off! So much drama already as VAR comes into play to rule out Finland's opening goal for offside.
20' - CHANCE!! Lod threads it through to the dangerman Pohjanpalo, whose shot is blocked by a valiant challenge from Diveev and it's out for a corner.
37' - CHANCE!!! Great footwork from Golovin, who sets Kuzyaev free down the left flank. He drills a low cross that looks set for the onrushing Karavaev to smash home, but Uronen somehow manages to poke the ball away, ending up with a boot to the face while doing so.
45+2' - GOAL!!! Russia have their first goal of the tournament and it's a wonderful finish from Miranchuk! A one-touch pass from Dzyuba with his back to goal tees up Miranchuk, who uses his quick feet to get it onto his left foot before guiding it into the top corner.
49' - CLOSE!! Pukki is through on goal but Diveev produces another fantastic last-gap challenge to deny him. Pukki's furious and wants a penalty but the referee ignores him.
66' - CHANCE!! Biggest chance of the second half and a missed opportunity for Russia to potentially put the game to bed! The goalscorer Miranchuk is involved again, this time threading it through to the substitute Zhimaletdinov, who tries to dispatch the ball into the far corner but instead just drags it wide of the post.
72' - SAVED!! Brilliant low save from Hradecky to deny Kuzyaev, who had ages to size up a shot after Dzyuba pounced on a defensive misunderstanding to set him up.
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