January 17th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 2000 spectators

Best players: Mikhail Zhabkin, Jahongir Ergashev

Post match comments


Nikolay Pisarev, Head coach of team Russia:

– A bad functional condition of our players influenced the game. That's why we had a number of mistakes, wrong decisions and emotions. We lacked aggression, concentration. And, again, I am connecting all this with a bad functional condition. As for the opponent, I would like to congratulate them with a great game. Their team is good. Two players, and I am purposefully not giving their names, are highly skilled and I liked them a lot. But eventually we had better luck today.

– You said the team functional condition is bad. Do you connect the mistakes in defense in the beginning with it as well? Or was the team just worried in the starting minutes?

– Why would they worry? They are grown-ups already. They are professional players who play in the FNL and in the Premier League clubs. I think the reason is the one I mentioned. There are no miracles – we folks came back from vacations and we only had five trainings. Certainly, with only five days we were unable to prepare the team the way we wanted. Hence, there were mistakes in defense and duels lost.

– Russia played very tightly on the right wing in the second half. Was this what you were aiming players at?

– When you have one player more, then you certainly need to stretch the opponent's defense via the wings. Tajikistan was playing well in defense and we were struggling getting through their midfielders. So we used the wings and it seems the right one worked better.

– Why did you substitute number six back?

– We had one additional player compared to Tajikistan and we decided to check our attacking model throwing another attacking midfielder onto the pitch.


Roman Pylypchuk, Head coach of team Tajikistan:

– I rarely give comments on the referee work, but today I'd like to say that the matter was connected with them. Two moments during the match, two rude faults which must not be made. First our central defender had his nose broken in the penalty area while struggling for the ball, and this passed without any reaction. And the second moment was the red card. As for the game, I congratulate everyone with the tournament start, and I congratulate my colleague with the victory. And I wish everybody a good non-compromise fight.

– You started the match quite actively and opened the scoring very soon. Didn't you have an intention to "dry the game up"?

– We've come here with the task and objective to view the candidates to the national team. We want to show a decent play instead of closing ourselves on our half when the score is 1:0 or 1:1. It's not in our character to be waiting for 70 minutes trying to keep the necessary result. We came to play and we want to check our forces. Especially on the background of the opponents we've got in our group. Playing against team Russia was very interesting for us. It will be interesting to play against the teams of Estonia and Latvia. So there were no reasons in "drying the game up". On the contrary, the guys wanted to score more. We are interested in a game when the team is attacking and playing aggressively. And starting to play in defense from the 20th minute... Usually you get punished for that. That's why the pattern of the game was like this. We were not going to stay in defense keeping the score. We wanted to score, and there were several moments in the second half, especially when it was 1:1, but we did not manage. But there's no problem. We believe the guys have received a good lesson in today's game. And the spectators were excited.

– You've said you are looking closely at the players. Does it mean you don't set an objective for the tournament?

– That's also not right. Me as a coach and the guys coming here – we are like in a glass-case, in a good sense, in a football glass-case where we want to show our best qualities. So the task is to take a place as high as possible. Yes, we have our problems – a limited lineup, only 17 field players. And if we say that we don't have tournament objectives then we wouldn't have come here at all. And I was glad that the guys did a hard work, so that I have no pretentions to anybody.

– Can you see real candidates to the national team amongst your players?

– Yes, we have three or four players from those who played today, and they have already debuted in the national team. Besides, we are watching several very young players of 19 years old, who, as we believe, will be the national team's reserve in the nearest future. And considering that the national team has quite elderly players whose career is about to finish, we have some to substitute them.


#4 Russia – Tajikistan

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