European Championship - Group B
RussiaRussia1SlovakiaSlovakia2

Russia 1-2 Slovakia

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport

Marek Hamsik scored a stunning goal as Slovakia beat Russia to secure a first win at a European Championship.

The Napoli midfielder's measured pass set up Vladimir Weiss, who cut inside and side-footed Slovakia ahead.

Hamsik then spectacularly doubled the lead, receiving a short corner out wide before firing a shot in off the post.

Russia face disqualification if their fans misbehave inside stadiums and a flare was seen among their supporters when Denis Glushakov headed in late on.

That appeared to be the only issue for authorities inside Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy, in contrast to last week's scenes in Marseille's Stade Velodrome, where Russian fans charged into a section for England supporters after the final whistle in the draw between the two countries.

Russia will now almost certainly need to beat Wales on Monday if they are to stand any chance of progress, while Slovakia know victory over England will see them through.

Slovakia celebrate
Slovakia are on a fine run of form, with just one defeat in 10 matches

'Hamsik ready for a very big club'

Slovakia's defensive effort as Russia applied pressure late on was admirable, but without Hamsik it is hard to see Jan Kozak's side creating opportunities.

"He has matured as a person and as a player at Napoli - he is ready to play for a very big club," said Slovakia coach Jan Kozak of Hamsik afterwards.

Hamsik is one of only two players in the Slovakia squad with more than 10 international goals - and just as in their opening defeat by Wales, he had more touches than any of his team-mates.

A map of action zones
Until Slovakia's opener, Russia mainly attacked using right-back Igor Smolnikov, and it was his poor positioning that allowed Weiss to score

This time his touches were more telling as he found positions to have five shots, made more passes than any of his team-mates and won possession 12 times.

The ball to free Weiss took advantage of Russia's early positivity. Right-back Igor Smolnikov had continuously joined attacks and his poor positioning saw Hamsik curl a pass into space from deep.

Weiss, who plays for Qatari club Al-Gharafa, easily evaded two challenges before becoming the first player from a non-European club to score at a European Championship.

If his finish was composed, Hamsik's was an exhibition of power as his effort flew across goal to cannon off the upright and back across the goalline into the bottom corner.

More Russian troubles

Slovakia go into their final game with one loss in their past 10 matches, while Russia have had just one win in seven before their meeting with Wales in Toulouse.

Manager Leonid Slutsky - at 45, the youngest at Euro 2016 - looked distraught as he sat on his bench in silence after the final whistle.

Leonid Slutsky
Russia boss Leonid Slutsky was a promising goalkeeper but suffered a career-ending injury aged 19 when he fell from a tree when trying to retrieve a neighbour's cat

The momentum he gave their qualifying campaign after succeeding the sacked Fabio Capello has seemingly been lost, and his double role as CSKA Moscow boss and national manager looks unlikely to continue if Russia exit at the group stage.

Though they went close when Fedor Smolov's long-range shot went inches wide early on, all too often their play looked mechanical and devoid of flair in the final third.

Glushakov only came on at the break but the Spartak Moscow player made a difference, completing 97% of his passes and heading in Oleg Shatov's pinpoint late cross.

A wayward Glushakov effort from 18 yards - one of 13 Russia attempts to miss the target - proved the final action and what has already been a difficult tournament for the nation now looks likely to end in disappointment on the pitch.

Man of the match - Marek Hamsik

Marek Hamsik celebrates
Marek Hamsik proved he is Slovakia's key man, producing an assist and goal in a performance packed with quality

What they said...

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky on whether he picked the wrong line-up: " I wouldn't say that because if the plan we had at the beginning had been executed, and if we had scored the first goal, it would have been a different game. After we went behind, we had to change our plan, especially the system in midfield."

Slovakia coach Jan Kozak: "The match was very close and tense; nobody wanted to open up space and concede. At half-time we said it was only 2-0, we had things under control for a time, but we got tired. The last 10 minutes seemed to last a very long time."

The stats you need to know

  • The last time two players scored and assisted each other in the same European Championship match was Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes for England in 2004 (v Croatia).
  • Slovakia became the first team to score twice in the first half at this tournament, scoring both of their shots on target in the opening 45 minutes.
  • Russia have failed to win any of their past 10 games at the Euros in which they have conceded the opening goal (D2 L8).
  • Four of Russia's past five European Championship goals have been in the 79th minute or later.
A flare was used by Russian fans after their side scored a consolation goal
A flare was used by Russian fans after their side scored a consolation goal

What next?

Both teams have 20:00 BST kick-offs on 20 June - their final group matches. Slovakia will meet England - a side they have never beaten - in Saint-Etienne, while Russia face Wales - a side they have never lost to.

Line-ups

Russia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Akinfeev
  • 3Smolnikov
  • 14Berezutski
  • 4Ignashevich
  • 21Schennikov
  • 13GolovinSubstituted forMamaevat 45'minutes
  • 5NeustädterSubstituted forGlushakovat 45'minutes
  • 9KokorinSubstituted forShirokovat 76'minutes
  • 17Shatov
  • 10Smolov
  • 22Dzyuba

Substitutes

  • 2Shishkin
  • 6Berezutski
  • 7Yusupov
  • 8Glushakov
  • 11Mamaev
  • 12Lodygin
  • 15Shirokov
  • 16Alvim Marinato
  • 18Ivanov
  • 19Samedov
  • 20Torbinski
  • 23Kombarov

Slovakia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Kozácik
  • 2Pekarík
  • 3Skrtel
  • 4DuricaBooked at 46mins
  • 15Hubocan
  • 19Kucka
  • 22Pecovsky
  • 20MakSubstituted forDurisat 80'minutes
  • 17Hamsik
  • 7WeissSubstituted forSventoat 72'minutes
  • 8DudaSubstituted forNemecat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mucha
  • 5Gyömbér
  • 6Gregus
  • 9Sestak
  • 10Stoch
  • 11Nemec
  • 12Novota
  • 13Hrosovsky
  • 14Skriniar
  • 16Salata
  • 18Svento
  • 21Duris
Referee:
Damir Skomina
Attendance:
38,989

Match Stats

Home TeamRussiaAway TeamSlovakia
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Russia 1, Slovakia 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Russia 1, Slovakia 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Russia. Conceded by Marek Hamsik.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sergei Ignashevich (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pavel Mamaev.

  5. Post update

    Artem Dzyuba (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Martin Skrtel (Slovakia).

  7. Post update

    Igor Smolnikov (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Adam Nemec (Slovakia).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Artem Dzyuba (Russia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Roman Shirokov.

  10. Post update

    Artem Dzyuba (Russia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Martin Skrtel (Slovakia).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Denis Glushakov (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Russia. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Russia. Conceded by Viktor Pecovsky.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Oleg Shatov (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Russia 1, Slovakia 2. Denis Glushakov (Russia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oleg Shatov with a cross.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Slovakia. Michal Duris replaces Robert Mak.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pavel Mamaev (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Denis Glushakov.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Russia. Roman Shirokov replaces Aleksandr Kokorin.

  20. Post update

    Fedor Smolov (Russia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France22004136
2Switzerland21102114
3Romania201123-11
4Albania200203-30

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wales11002113
2Slovakia21013303
3England10101101
4Russia201123-11

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11002023
2Poland11001013
3Northern Ireland100101-10
4Ukraine100102-20

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia11001013
2Spain11001013
3Czech Rep100101-10
4Turkey100101-10

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy11002023
2R. of Ireland10101101
3Sweden10101101
4Belgium100102-20

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hungary11002023
2Iceland10101101
3Portugal10101101
4Austria100102-20
View full European Championship tables

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