Traumtor makes the difference: Eagle owls are disillusioned with Russia and VAR

Traumtor makes the difference
Eagle owls are disillusioned with Russia and VAR

The Finnish national team cheered after just a few minutes – but the goal that would have meant advancement does not count. Instead, Russia is back after a clear opening bankruptcy in the EM. The clear increase in performance of the Sbornaja is rewarded.

Finland’s dream of an Icelandic-style European Championship fairy tale has suffered a severe setback: With a 1-0 (0-0) defeat against Russia in St. Petersburg, the Finns missed the chance to advance to the knockout round. In the decisive group game against the top favorites Belgium, Teemu Pukki and Co. now have to spend a football miracle to storm into the knockout round like Iceland in 2016.

A dream goal by Alexej Mirantschuk (45 + 2) caused the first defeat for the Finns, who had won 1-0 in Denmark four days earlier in the dramatic circumstances of the collapse of Christian Eriksen. The Russians, trained by the former Dresden Bundesliga goalkeeper Stanislaw Tschertschessow, avoided a possible knockout after the 3-0 opening defeat against Belgium and can continue to hope for the round of 16.

The other group opponents Denmark and Belgium will meet on Thursday (6 p.m. / ZDF, Magenta TV and in the live ticker at The two final games in St. Petersburg between Finland and Belgium and in Copenhagen between Denmark and Russia will take place on Monday (9 p.m. / ARD).

Before the kick-off, the Finns recalled the terrible scenes in Copenhagen. “Get well Christian!” Was emblazoned on the warm-up jerseys, which, given the cardiac arrest of the now half-recovered Danish star Eriksen, had barely been able to enjoy their first European Championship victory.

Finland is missing in the end

In front of 34,067 spectators in St. Petersburg, however, the once again highly dangerous ex-Schalke Pukki and his strike partner Joel Pohjanpalo (Union Berlin) tried to create a real party atmosphere from the start. Already in the third minute Pohjanpalo flew into a flank and headed for the supposed 1-0 for the “Uhus”, as the Finnish team is also known – but the VAR found a wafer-thin offside position.

The Russians needed a little time to get into the game, but then came up with a number of chances in an increasingly entertaining game, the strong Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky had plenty of work. Magomed Osdojew (10th) shot over the goal from the best position, storm tank Artjom Dzjuba (13th) hit the post – but from an offside position. On the other side, Pohjanpalo in particular toiled tirelessly, but kept getting stuck without luck. Russia acted more determined, in the 27th minute the early substitute for the injured Mario Fernandes Vyacheslav Karawajew rushed just past a cross.

A small miracle was the opening goal just before the break. Mirantschuk, who was already very conspicuous by then – Robin Gosens’s team-mate at Atalanta Bergamo was not part of the starting line-up against Belgium – took the ball in the penalty area from a very small space and circled it through several defenders into the corner. Finland was by no means shocked and gave their big neighbors a very attractive duel at eye level after the break. Above all, Pukki took the initiative, but narrowly missed in the 54th minute.

On the defensive, the Finns did not act as compactly and confidently as they did against Denmark, and the fast Russian attackers repeatedly presented gaps. Substitute Rifat Schemaletdinow (66th) missed a shot in the penalty area only centimeters to make an early decision. With a brilliant act against Daler Kusjajew (72nd), Hradecky kept the Finns in the race.