Right then, that’s us. Thanks so much for your company and comments; apologies I didn’t make it all the way through the Finland playlist. Enjoy today’s other games; ta-ra.
“Mention of Russo-Finnish history below reminds me that the Russians certainly haven’t had it all their own way,” emails Russell Yong. “Resisting invaders (and obviously Russia) has been a great source of intrinsic pride to Finns. The Wiki page of Simo Häyhä, in particular, is well worth a read.
As for music, not strictly Finnish, but who could forget this classic? Plus it was used as a theme song for Finnish TV shows, so l think it counts!
That was a classic Sven affair: “first half good, second half not so good.” I don’t think either of these have it in them to win a knockout tie, but there’s a fair chance at least one of them gets a go. Finland are probably done getting points – I can’t see a way they take anything off Belgium – but Russia will fancy themselves against Denmark, who I daresay will fancy themselves against Russia.
Miranchuk’s brilliant goal is enough, and Russia are on the board. Group B is goiong to be a tight one.
90+6 min Arajuri goes up with Barinov and introduces forearm to face; it turns out that forearm is stronger than face, so Barinov goes to the side for treatment.
90+5 min Zhemaletdinov look sharp but lacks composure, and with Sobolev in front of him, greewn grass in front of that, he overhits his through-ball.
90+3 min Golovin has been Russia’s most dangerous attacker today, and he plays a clever square ball to Zhemaletdinov, who does well to let it run across him, at the same time opening a shooting angle and his right foot. But instead of keeping calm, he snatches at his effort, sending it wide of the far post.
90+3 min Obviously that’s easier said than done, but weight of numbers can sometimes be enough and they’ve not tried to see if that works.
90+2 min I’ve been disappointed with Finland today. They’ve played ok, but they’ve not properly gone for it in the second half, even though a goal pretty much keeps them here for the knockouts.
90 min O’Shaughnessy charges Sobolev late, and is booked. He stays sown a while, then walks to the side and play resumes.
89 min The kick is a poor one but Russia can’t get it clear, so that when it’s nodded back in, Arajuuri is there … but he can only head over the top! That wasn’t much of a chance, but it was the best Finland have manufactured in quite some time.
88 min Dzhkiya slides through Soiri and is booked but, more importantly, Finland have a free-kick out on the left, Lod to swerve in….
87 min Mukhin chips a diag towards the far post where Karavayev heads down … and Zobnin shoots high.
86 min “Not true at all that most teams in the Finnish league plays in white and blue,” informs Jonas Holmqvist. “Current champions Kups play in yellow and black, and so do Honka. IFK Mariehamn in green and white, and same for Kotka TP. Ilves play in yellow and green, HIFK in red and white, Inter in blue and black, Lahti all-black…
In short, quite the same variation as in most leagues, and very few teams actually play in white and blue.”
85 min A double change for Russia, Sobolev and the disgracefully young-looking Mukin replacing Dzyuba and Miranchuk.
83 min “I suspect this might be the shirt from the tournament that people remember for years to come,” Andy West says of of Finland’s rig. I do however, slightly wish the blue stripe continued down over the shorts in the 1970s Coventry style.”
Wasn’t that part of an ad for Talbot cars? This is the nearest I coold find in our system.
82 min Ah there. Toivio reckons he’s shepherding a ball into touch, so Dyuba laifs over and hammers him with a shoulder-charge. Eat mat, dude!
81 min Kamara sends wide to Soiri, but before his cross can reach Toivo, Dzhkiya humps it clear.
80 min Soiri knocks wide to Kauko, but his cross is directed directly at the first man. The second half has been a lot less fun than the first.
78 min “I humbly disagree with your assessment that Glen Kamara is playing really well,” says Anis Aslaam. “I think it’s the opposite. Remember that famous Tanguy Ndombele video vs Wolves that brought a chuckle to Mourinho? Kamara’s doing an exact carbon copy of that.”
Perhaps. I’m watching the game, my email, my fingers and my CMS, so I might be missing things. But I’m sure that if Finland got him on the ball more, they’d create more too.
77 min Pohjanpalo swings a leg across Dzhikiya shins, so there’s a break while he’s treated.
76 min A double change for Finland: Raitala and Pukki go off, with Soiri and Lappalainen coming on.
74 min “Agreed that the Finland national kit is smart,” emails Charles Antaki, “but the colours are all too popular. The only game I attended in Helsinki was blue+white vs all-white, and looking it up later, it seems most teams in the Veikkausliiga favour the national colours, bar the memorable FC Honka, yellow+black.”
72 min Now here come Russia, Dzyuba stamping towards the box and, with Golovin’s run taking men away, he slips inside to Karaev. This is a chance! But after opening his body to make the angle for the shot, he curls his effort just wide.
71 min Raitala flies down the right and flings over a cross, but with Pohjanpalo poised to scissors-kick home an earth-shattering volley, Diveev heads away. Oh what might’ve been!
69 min Dzhikiya’s been clutching his leg at various points in the game and diving in to try and block that shot might’ve finished him off. He goes down, accepts treatment … but then goes off to come back on.
68 min And here he is, driving towards the box and forcing an angle for a shot from distance … which he smashes high and wide as though doing so on purpose.
66 min Dzyuba drops deep and finds Miranchuk, who slides a fine ball in behind for Zhemaletdinov. Is this his moment? No! He takes it slightly wide, then drags a shot slightly wide of the far ost.