Spain – Russia – 4: 1, match review, September 3, 2021, Euro 2023 qualifiers

The Russian youth team has not played official tournament matches since March of this year, when they lost to Denmark (0: 3) in the decisive game for the qualification of the group to Euro 2021. In the previous composition, the team ceased to exist and now the updated youth team under the guidance of the same coach Mikhail Galaktionov trying to qualify for Euro 2023. Now players born after 1 January 2000, ie representatives of the so-called Generation Z, can play in the national team.




The only player on the youth team who deserved a call on the first team. Makarov is our Robben

Our difficult qualifying group includes Spain, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Lithuania and Malta. The winner will advance to the final tournament and the second place team will face off. It fell to Russia to start with the most difficult test (away against Spain), after which ours will play on September 7 in Khimki against Malta. 24 players were included in the application for meetings with the Spaniards and the Maltese:

Goalkeepers: Borisko (Baltika), Agachev (Krasnodar), Budachev (Dynamo).

Defenders: Karmaev (Kuban), Kutitsky (Dynamo), Litvinov (Spartak), Prokhin (Sochi), Bolshakov (Olympus), Khlusevich, Stepanov (both Arsenal), Bozhenov (Khimki ”), Silyanov (“ Lokomotiv ”).

Means: Kravtsov (Zenith), Maradishvili (Lokomotiv), Chernikov (Krasnodar), Prutsev (Soviet Wings), Umiarov, Ignatov (both Spartak Moscow), Karavuzov (Akhovayk), Ivovik (Akhmat), Karavuzov (Akhmat).

Front: Suleimanov (Nizhny Novgorod), Agalarov (Ufa), Klimov (Kuban).

From the first minutes of the match at the Francisco de la Era stadium in the city of Almendralejo, it was considered that the years pass, but nothing changes. The hosts with their 4-3-3 was the “first number”, and ours defended with a medium or low block according to the conditional figure 5-3-2. Spain played football and Russia – for the result. The difference in technique and speed of work with the ball was impressive. Will there come a time when we will play with the Spaniards from a position of strength?

The visitors tried to break the mood of the opponent with hard fouls (Prochin, Maradishvili), and then with only 24% possession of the ball … they scored with the first shot out! The success of Galaktionov’s team was brought about by a rare pressing effort. The defender made a mistake Juan Gonzalez, who made a bad pass back, and Agalarov sent the ball bouncing off the post by the keeper into the net. This season is going surprisingly well for the Ufa striker so far. In the RPL, Agalarov has already scored five goals in six rounds and now he has scored for the youth team in Spain.

Photo: Mateo Villalba / Getty Images

The Spaniards were looking for opportunities to advance the ball. Third in the defense in the tie with the central defenders was the defender Vencedor (Incidentally, translated from Spanish – the Winner), the extreme defenders actively participated in the beginning of the attacks, who received relative freedom against 5-3-2. We did not enjoy leadership for long. In three minutes, our left “extremity” Khlusevich lost in the snatch Pinot after penetrating transmission, and Niño (in translation – Child) calmly hit the target outside the penalty area. Spain also scored with the first shot accurately.

It seemed that nothing good was waiting for the Russian team in such a game. The Spaniards stood out especially as a left winger Brian Gill, whose value is estimated at 30 million euros (almost that much Tottenham paid for this summer). However, although not without difficulty, Galaktionov’s team managed to keep the tie until the break. And, in addition, did not lose to the hosts in terms of hits on target – 2: 2 (total hits – 7: 3). Ours were well organized. Khlusevich from Maradishvili he even had a chance to score, but did not realize goal opportunities.



They say the abolition of the border will hit the Russian team.  Because this is completely nonsense
They say the abolition of the border will hit the Russian team. Because this is completely nonsense

The beginning of the second half made me think of eternal issues again. Spain took the ball and used the first moment. Despite the presence on the field of the Russian national team of three central defenders and three centers, ours did not intervene Pinot shoots from outside the box. The ball is cleared off the boot of the defender, Spartak. Litvinova entered the net.

Further more. The hosts stretched the defense of the guests, finding free zones. In the 54th minute Pinot After assists and goals, he made another effective action: he responded to his sharp pass from the right half Niñowho jumped from behind Litvinova and defeated the Dynamo goalkeeper Budaseva. In fact, Spain made the result in seven minutes. Dual writer Niño from Mallorca, against the backdrop of our defenders, looked like an adult, mature footballer.

Naturally, with a score of 1: 3, ours raised the lines and sought recovery. Now the Spaniards were dangerous in quick counterattacks. Of the Russian national team players, perhaps only Agalarov kept the level. Shortly before his replacement, the Ufa forward could have scored a double. I also remember the passage of the fresh Sevikian: The winger playing in Spain won three on the way to the goal, but, unfortunately, his solo resulted in the loss of the ball in the penalty area. The hosts turned their victory in the end into a great one: Pinotlike Niñomade a double.

Defeat in the first match of the qualifying round is not a problem. Another thing is disappointing: the difference in ability between our players and the players of the top teams is still huge. And no limit will definitely solve this problem.

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