Match № 4

The match № 4 (group stage), first tournament day

RUSSIA – LATVIA 1:0 (1:0)

January 16th, 2015, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 3200 spectators

Referees: Artyom Chistyakov, Egor Bolhovitin, Aleksandr Shimarygin

Russia: Lantratov, Jivoglyadov, Kirisov (Yaschuk, 61), Lisinkov, Guliev (Yevseev, 81), Bukia (c) (Ovsyannikov, 90), Markov (Kurzenev, 68), Yakuba, Hodjaniyazov, Parshikov (Morgunov, 58), Kozlov (Bogaev, 78)

Head coach: Nikolay Pisarev

Latvia: Kurakins, Stuglis, Berenfelds, Flaksis (c), Tidenbergs (Jaudzems, 88), Kirilins (Ivanovs, 80), Gutkovskis, Slampe, Sadcins (Regza, 75), Klimasevics, Indrans (Krusatins, 58)

Head coach: Dainis Kazakevics

Goal: Kozlov (41)

Yellow cards: Lisinkov (8), Sadcins (11), Flaksis (43), Yakuba (44), Slampe (49), Berenfelds (58), Yevseev (88)

Best players: Yevgeny Kozlov, Vladislavs Kurakins

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After match comments

Head coach of team Russia Nikolay Pisarev:

– That is a fifth tournament for me as a coach. As far as I remember games here were always difficult ones. There are some reasons for that. Players just met, two days ago; the physics also is not very good, I can see they have lack of energy, so substitutions are common things. A lot of moments that opponent created tells us about their strength. We don't know what happened if they would score in the first half. We are lucky. Still, all the first games in the tournament were such tough, hard and very passionate.

– During today's matches we watched other teams playing. Almost no one of them made distant kicks, but your team did. Was it your task for the game?

– Opponent's defense is very dynamic. We were guiding, at least in the first half. One of the tools to break that kind of defense is to use distant kicks. We've tried to tackle them through the wings and failed. So, distant kicks seemed to be a good idea, still none of the eight kicks led to the moment. That made us nervous.

– Hodjaniyazov made some mistakes in passes, but in general he looked good. Do you have any resume concerning the appropriate quantity of faults?

– We know what he is capable for. We will study the mistakes he made. I think he knows those moments. I think he is a good player, and he has potential. His physical condition connected to the period of vacations that just ended. Maybe that was one of the reasons he played not for his maximum that moment.

– At the end of the game your team gained a sufficient dominance and created couple of moments. Is that connected to several Zenith players joined the game who know each other, or anything else?

– Fresh players joined the game when the opponent was a bit tired. Perhaps, they don't have players that could join in and strengthen the game for 100%. We have them. Including from Zenith. I am satisfied with substitutions and players could catch the game.

– You've said that you will choose captain in the last minutes. What criteria did you follow?

– The most experience, leader in changing room, pitch position. Bukia is that kind of a player we hope will play for a long time. Still, we will mix the line-up and it does not mean he will play all the games.

Head coach of team Latvia Dainis Kazakevics:

– We are disappointed for sure with the result, we couldn't get tournament points. Obviously, Russian team had more scoring moments and held the initiative. We built our play from defense with counterattacks. The moment of realizing our scoring moments was very important for us because there wouldn't be many of them in such kind of match. We had two or three moments but failed them. I have no complaints to my players and their devotion. As for the quality of the game, it was nervous in the first half. It is understandable: first match against the host team and really strong squad. We coped with it but lacked the quality at the end of attacks. It didn't let us to fight for the draw or for the victory. But the score is fair, the winner is the team that was the strongest on the pitch. We will prepare for the next match.

– Will your team use different schemes of play for the group stage and play-off matches and do you have the only one or several in your reserve?

– It depends on the opponent's qualities, tactics and our own abilities we can play with. We have several variants of game play. Depending on the match we choose one of it.

– There is an opinion that all the teams from the group with Russia can fight for the second place only, Russia is a host team and the favorite of the tournament, do you agree with it?

– After the match it is obvious and team of Russia proved by the game that she is a favorite. We are satisfied with the fact we are in the group with Russia. We need to play with strong opponents before the European qualification. We can see our faults only comparing with strong teams. It will be clear in such matches who is ready for this level, and who is still nervous and can't cope with excitement. I'm happy that today we could cope with excitement. Also there is a problem that Nikolay Pisarev has already mentioned, players had just come back from vacations and they are ot totally ready physically. But they tried t attack. We are happy that the lot has gave us an opportunity to play with Russia. It is priceless experience for us. Moreover, I the case we qualify to play-off, we will have a chance not to play with Russia on early stage of it.


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