Finland 0-1 Russia: Miranchuk strike sets up thrilling finish to Group B

By Sports Desk June 16, 2021

Russia kept injected life into their hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 knockout stages as they claimed a 1-0 win over Finland in Saint Petersburg.

Aleksey Miranchuk's exceptional finish saw Stanislav Cherchesov's side bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday.

Miranchuk's 47th-minute goal came with the game's first shot on target – the longest wait for an effort on goal so far in Euro 2020 – and it set up an intriguing finish to Group B.

Both Russia and Finland remain in the running to reach the latter stages of the tournament having earned three points from their opening two fixtures.

A thrilling start saw Finland denied a well-worked opener by the linesman's flag, Joel Pohjanpalo having wandered just slightly offside before heading home Jukka Raitala's cross.

Russia responded well, but Magomed Ozdoev should have done far better than to lash over after being played in at close range by Miranchuk.

The hosts lost Mario Fernandes after an awkward fall but his replacement Vyacheslav Karavaev almost immediately opened the scoring, only for Jere Uronen to prevent him nudging in Daler Kuzyaev's teasing cross.

Yet Russia's breakthrough came on the stroke of half-time – Miranchuk playing a one-two with Artem Dzyuba inside the box before curling a sublime effort into the top-left corner.

Russia came within inches of doubling their lead shortly after the restart as Aleksandr Golovin sent an effort wide, though Teemu Pukki stung the palms of Matvey Safonov at the other end.

Lukas Hradecky pulled off a fine save down to his left to deny Kuzyaev and keep Finland in it.

But, while Russia were unable to make their chances pay in the final 15 minutes, they did enough to see out an important win in front of their vocal support.

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