Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2016 Contents A55
Thursday, June 16, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LILLE---Even though the behaviour of
Russian fans improved, their team might
still be forced out of the European Cham-
Elimination, rather than disqualification,
is the immediate threat after Russia s short-
comings were badly exposed in a 2-1 loss
to Slovakia yesterday.
Marek Hamsik s long pass split the Russ-
ian defence, setting up Vladimir Weiss for
Slovakia s first goal in the 32nd minute.
Weiss turned provider just before halftime
as Hamsik powered in the second at the
Stade Pierre Mauroy.
The Russians pulled one back in the 80th
minute through Denis Glushakov s header,
but there was no late equaliser like in Sat-
urday s violence-marred match against Eng-
The loss left Russia with only one point
from two matches in Group B.
And Russia, which will host the 2018
World Cup, still has problems both on and
off the field.
The red flare set off by Russian fans after
Glushakov s goal could prove problematic
for the federation, which has been threatened
with disqualification from Euro 2016 by
UEFA if there is further misbehaviour by
its fans in stadiums.
On Saturday in Marseille, Russian fans
attacked their English rivals after their team
scored late to earn a 1-1 draw. There was
no repeat of the violence in Lille, howev-
er.Russia will next face Wales on Monday
in Toulouse, while Slovakia plays England
at the same time in Saint-Etienne.
The composed Slovaks, who won a match
at the continental championship for the
first time, exposed the ineffectiveness of a
disjointed Russian side that lacked creativity
until the final minutes.
The opener was a combination of Ham-
sik s vision and hapless defending. (AP)
PARIS---Switzerland closed in on a spot in the
next round of the European Championship with
a 1-1 draw against Romania yesterday.
Admir Mehmedi scored a 57th-minute equaliser
with a powerful left-foot shot to ensure the Swiss
have four points ahead of their final Group A
match against France.
Romania experienced a little deja vu from its
opening loss to France: Boosted by a penalty kick
from Bogdan Stancu and then beaten by an oppo-
nent s sweet left-footed shot.
"(Dimitri) Payet and then Mehmedi, they are
just remarkable goals," Romania coach Anghel Ior-
danesu said through a translator.
Romania took the lead against the run of play
in the 18th minute when Stancu scored with his
second penalty at Euro 2016, awarded after Switzer-
land captain Stephan Lichtsteiner pulled an oppo-
nent s shirt.
Although Romania then hit the post through
Cristian Sapunaru s shot, Switzerland had more
and better scoring chances.
"It s not that we can t create them. We just
don t finish them," said Switzerland midfielder
Granit Xhaka, who got his second straight man
of the match award.
Romania has only one point from two matches,
but should be favoured to beat Albania in its last
match. France was playing the Albanians in Mar-
seille later Wednesday.
The new 24-team format means the third-place
teams in the six groups have a good chance to
reach the round of 16.
Switzerland has never advanced from its group
at a European tournament, and missed a good
opportunity to hit coach Vladimir Petkovic s target
of two straight wins to clinch advancement with
a game to spare.
Pressing for victory, Switzerland lacked some
team-first focus. Xherdan Shaqiri and Blerim Dze-
maili opted for volleyed shots that flew high and
wide when teen substitute Breel Embolo was better
On the other end, Stancu has now totally wrong-
footed two of Europe s best goalkeepers from the
penalty spot at Euro 2016. France goalkeeper Hugo
Lloris was beaten to his left in Romania s 2-1 loss
last Friday, and Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Som-
mer guessed left as the ball went to his right. (AP)
Slovakia increases Russia's problems
Slovakia's players celebrate after Marek Hamsik
scored his side's second goal during the Euro 2016
Group B soccer match against Russia at the Pierre
Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille,
France, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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