ARSENAL star Andrei Arshavin says his Russian side must now come to Dublin and win next month following a shock defeat for the Russians at home to Slovakia last night.
Former Chelsea man Miroslav Stoch, now playing his club football in Turkey, stunned the home fans in Moscow by netting a first half goal for the Slovaks, who showed no signs of the predicted World Cup hangover, bringing back bad memories for Russia who lost out on a place at the World Cup finals to Slovenia in a play-off.
Russia's much-vaunted home record in Moscow is now in tatters as Dick Advocaat and his players try to pick themselves up, Advocaat stating that Russia now have "eight cup finals" left in the campaign, starting with that game in Ireland next month.
"I know our fans are disappointed today but I can tell them just one thing: we have two games left this year, away to Ireland and away to Macedonia, and if we win them both, which we must do, we can get back on track," said Arshavin, who captained Russia in Moscow last night.
"Slovakia said before the game that a draw in Moscow would not be a bad result for them, they got a win by taking their chance so we have to go to Bratislava next month and do the same," added Arshavin.
Advocaat defended his selection policy. "If I didn't pick those players, we'd only have had six players in the team last night," he said. "I think we played well in the game."
In the other game in Group B, Armenia showed their mettle by taking a 2-1 lead in Skopje against Macedonia and the Macedonians needed a late penalty to earn a draw.