Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Russia Advance to the Quarterfinals
Russia defeat Sweden 2-0
Russia needed a win against Sweden in order to advance to the Quarterfinals, while a draw for
Sweden would get them through.
Russia welcomed back striker Andrei Arshavin to the starting lineup, after he had been suspended for Russia's first 2 games for getting a red card in Russia's final qualifying game.
Arshavin's presence in the lineup proved to be key, as the Russians completely dominated Sweden in the game.
Goals were scored by Roman Pavluchenko in the 24th minute, and Arshavin in the 50th minute, both goals however were total team efforts.
Russia completely dominated the play the entire game, and other then a Henrik Larsson header, Sweden created no chances for themselves.
For Russia it is the first time since 1992 that they have been out of the group stages of a major tournament.
Russia will now face the heavily favored Netherlands in the Quarterfinals.
Spain defeat Greece 2-1
In the other game in group D, a Spanish side with 10 new players in the starting lineup defeated 2004 Euro Cup winners Greece.
For Spain, putting 10 different players in the starting lineup did not affect their play, as players like Cesc Fabregas, Xabi Alonso, and the leading scorer in La Liga this season Daniel Guiza all are of high quality and would start on almost any national team.
Greece started the scoring first in the 42nd minute on a great header by Angelos Charisteas.
However, in the second half the all the of Spanish players picked up their game, trying eagerly to impress the coaches enough to get a starting spot.
In the 61st minute de la Red scored on a great shot which was assisted by Guiza, and Spain completed the comeback in the 88th minute when Guiza was unmarked and scored on a header.
Greece's loss means that they are the only team in Euro 08 to not get a point in group play.