Monday 23 April 2018

Euro 2012: Russia hope for calm from fans

Alan Dzagoev has urged Russia fans not to bring further shame on the country ahead of their final Group A match with Greece tonight.

The violent, offensive and unsafe behaviour of Russian supporters has already landed the Football Union of Russia a huge fine and a suspended six-point deduction for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Any repeat today could see that deduction enacted by UEFA and CSKA Moscow midfielder Dzagoev said of fans: "Maybe they should be more calm. We don't need to lose six points in the next qualification, so we don't want anything bad for our national team."

Manager Dick Advocaat reacted angrily to questions about Russia fans' conduct in Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Poland. "Tomorrow, we're going to be playing a very important game and you're going to ask me questions like this?" he said yesterday.

A draw today would be enough for Russia to qualify for the quarter-finals, while even a narrow defeat could be sufficient depending on the outcome of the Czech Republic-Poland game.

"I'm really sure that we will go through and we are very focused. We must go on the pitch and win the game. We don't feel relaxed. We simply must win," Dzagoev said.

Dzagoev (21) scored against Poland and another good display could put him in the shop window. "Of course, I am willing to try myself in other clubs in Europe," he said.

Advocaat confirmed forward Aleksandr Kokorin would miss the rest of Euro 2012 after suffering a torn hamstring in training yesterday. Konstantin Zyryanov also missed training through sickness and is a doubt for today.

Greece must win to stand any chance of progressing and head coach Fernando Santos said: "My faith in my team is total. It's the same faith I had back in the autumn after our (qualifying) draw in Latvia.

"Back then, we needed a victory against Croatia to have any chance of qualifying. I believed in that team, I said so, and afterwards I was vindicated. I am saying the same now."

Russia v Greece,

Live, RTE 2/ BBC 3, 7.45

Irish Independent

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