Football: Inspired Russia come from behind to beat England 2-1

Russia stormed back from a goal down to beat England 2-1 in their Euro 2008 qualifying match. 

England went ahead courtesy of an early Wayne Rooney goal and, with just over twenty minutes to play, had looked to be in control of the game and well on their way to the European Championships.  But, in an inspired move, coach Gus Hiddink brought Roman Pavluchenko onto the pitch – he went on to score both of Russia’s goals.

The result leaves Russia in control of their destiny – they need only to win their next two games against Israel and the not very mighty Andorra.  England, on the other hand, can only realistically qualify if they win their last match and Russia slip up.

England coach Steve McLaren has refused to blame England’s defeat on Russia’s decision to cover the pitch with artificial turf.  Instead, he went down the time honoured route of blaming the referee instead:

England Russia Penalty“The pitch had nothing to do with it,” he said. “It was lively. They had more preparation, but I’m not making that an excuse.”

“…I’ve just seen the penalty again. It’s an absolute disgrace. It’s outside the box. The linesman didn’t give it. It was the referee [who awarded the penalty] from quite some distance [away]. Things like that turn games.” 

The BBC on the other hand, have no doubts. Engand’s defeat can be blamed on Russian gamesmanship:

McClaren will have been peturbed to see the synthetic surface being heavily watered before kick-off, a move clearly designed to make conditions more favourable for Hiddink’s side.

It’s days like this that I try to forget I’m an Englishman.

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13 Responses

  1. “McClaren will have been peturbed to see the synthetic surface being heavily watered before kick-off, a move clearly designed to make conditions more favourable for Hiddink’s side.”

    ****

    The grounds keeping crews of baseball and American football fields do the same for their respective teams.

    Matt Frei as news anchor brings less objectivity to the BBC.

  2. copydude says:

    Quote:

    ‘No Englishman is ever fairly beaten’

    – George Bernard Shaw. (St. Joan.)

    Still funny today.

  3. You can blame the pitch, the referee and the management but the real crisis has been caused by the players underperforming.

    I’m not sure of the reasons but I would bet it has something to do with motivation and these highly paid stars do lack incentive.

    Hats off to Russia who played like they wanted to win.

  4. Among countries, the latest football (soccer) jersey style seems to include having the national emblem over that of the involved football federation.

    Would appreciate links to sites having a good selection of the latest style of national team jerseys.

  5. Thanks.

    Upon a quick perusal, it looks good.

    However, this isn’t the current Russian jersey in use:

    http://www.subsidesports.com/uk/store/product_details.jsp?pid=72057594037942792&portal=af

    Its other selections are impressive.

    Gotta love the retro. jerseys.

    In the colonies, Eurosport seems to have a fairly well establisged base.

  6. The game was interesting. England has a great team. It was just not their day.

    What spoiled the day was the press-conference after the game, when McClaren refused to answer the questions of Russian journalists and forbade them to translate his answers to the foreign journalists into Russian. It was rather disappointing to learn that some Englishmen are not gentlemen :).

  7. From what I saw on TV, the BBC (as aired in Amercia) seemed to downplay the result of the game.

    In the lead up to it, the Beeb had a relatively high profile feature on Russian football (soccer) hooliganism.

    However, the same packaged BBC version aired to the colonies didn’t have much about the game as I thought it would.

    Not good manners on the part of McLaren. In fairness, the Russians displayed an understandable unhappiness with some of the results at the SLC Winter Olympics. Nothing matching what was posted about McLaren.

    I didn’t see the game. The beef is on a call and the pitch. Were any of the match offcials Russian? If not, from where? As for the pitch, such are the advantages of being the home team. The Russians apparently didn’t violate any rules.

  8. Andy says:

    “McClaren refused to answer the questions of Russian journalists and forbade them to translate his answers to the foreign journalists into Russian.”

    I hadn’t heard that until now – very unclassy. On behalf of sensible Englishmen, I apologise.

  9. There’s no need for you to apologize.

    I was never a great believer in collective guilt.

  10. IRISHMAN says:

    I think something must have happened during the build-up to the game that pissed off McClaren, maybe something written in the Russian press or such like. Its not like him to be so rude. Anyway, he’s for the scrapheap, which is his own(and the referee’s) fault.

    ”Among countries, the latest football (soccer) jersey style seems to include having the national emblem over that of the involved football federation.”

    Among newly formed or reformed/reborn countries, yes, eg FSU nations. Its saves them having to dream up a federation crest if they just use the national one with a football pictured beside it or such like. Its not a nationalism thing. Ireland, England, even the USA use a federation crest.

    ”From what I saw on TV, the BBC (as aired in Amercia) seemed to downplay the result of the game.”
    They had no choice really. Blighty is all but out of Euro 2008 now, short of a miracle occuring. England will hardly even beat Croatia.

    ”The beef is on a call and the pitch.”
    The referee made a wrong decision – it isnt even a matter of debate. The foul occured outside the box but a penalty was given. But that’s football, and ever country/team has been done wrong by officials at one time or other. None of the officials would have been Russian; its against the rules. They are likely to have been from the ref’s country of origin.

    ”No Englishman is ever fairly beaten’

    – George Bernard Shaw. (St. Joan.)

    Still funny today.”

    Trust an Irishman to come up with that one!) But England were hard done by in Moscow, no doubt about it.

    Mike, I’ll be in Moscow in December and if you want I’ll get you a Russia football jersey and post it to you. They arent expensive there at all, but mail-order will cost you a lot.

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