ESTONIA – RUSSIA 1:2 (0:2)
January 21st, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 1500 spectators
Best players: Marten Kuusk, Alexander Seraskhov
Post match comments
Martin Reim, Head coach of team Estonia:
– Of course we wanted the game to take another course. But it was clear that our movements without the ball and with the ball were much worse than in previous games. We should have played faster, leaving no space to the opponent. But we completely failed to keep the ball. We were losing it too quickly. So, the opponent entirely deserves the victory.
– You are continuing to rotate players. Today you also substituted a lot of players. Although the players who came on the pitch in the previous games were stronger than the ones today. Didn't you have a desire to play for the result in this match? Or do long-term perspectives still matter more?
– We always play to get a certain result. In every case. And I don't consider these guys weaker. The guys just have come from vacations not too long ago and they find it hard to play in such a schedule with two matches in three days. So, to minimize the injuries, we have to rotate the players. But I will repeat: I can't say that either of the lineups is stronger. As for me, there is no difference. The matter was that our players were too afraid of the opponent and were showing too much respect.
– You'll meet team Kyrgyzstan in the match for the third place. Have you seen this team playing? Do you have an idea of how they play?
– No, we haven't, but we'll see.
– What emotions did your team feel after a fast goal conceded? Did they feel there was a plenty of time to equalize? How do the guys react?
– Of course, conceding on the 3rd minute is no good. But it seems we haven't really entered the game. And one could see by the players, by their movements, that they were still not awake, to put it so. They played very slowly, didn't make themselves open. The passing was inaccurate, too. Many lost balls. And the defending line turned out to be completely open, so it was easy to penetrate in it.
Nikolay Pisarev, Head coach of team Russia:
– It was the best game for us on the tournament in terms of the content. And it has been played against the strongest opponent so far. But we still have problems converting our chances. We created a lot of good moments. We knew that Estonia would give up initiative. A draw would have been in their favor and they understood that we would have to attack and that the spectators would make us run forward. We had to find keys to a well-set defense which is the most difficult in football now. We managed to score two goals whereas Estonia used the only scoring chance that they managed to create themselves. The last minutes turned out to be nervous. We are happy to qualify to the final.
– The first question is whether Sutormin got a serious injury or not?
– Nothing serious, we substituted him just to be on a safe side. He's got some minor muscle injury.
– We have heard colleagues saying that once Sheidaev and Karpov are both on the pitch at once, then Russia scores. Did you put them into the starting eleven on purpose, for a good luck?
– I need to think about this topic. I cannot give an answer now. Could you ask anything easier?
– Before the tournament, were you aiming at a 2:1 score for all the matches?
– I think, we were not. In fact, we took a closer look at statistics and we saw that we had around ten scoring chances in each game. But we scored only six goals.
– What recipe did you find for Bukiya? He was not showing his best football in previous matches, whereas today he was probably the best...
– I wouldn't agree that he was bad in first matches. The entire TEAM played bad.
– Why did you call Seraskhov the best player of this match? What was it that he showed?
– And what a defender should have demonstrated? There were no dangerous moments coming from his wing. He was joining our attacks wisely. He coped with a big workload and he was a leader of our defense. I don't have any pretentions to him and I think his play was close to be ideal today.
– You will be playing with Moldova in the final. Have you seen them playing?
– No, we haven't, and we are going to watch videos now. But if they reached the final, then it's a strong team. We played with Moldova once. I think it was two years ago, when Aleksandr Kurtiyan was coaching the team. We had a 2:2 draw then and they took away points from us. I believe the final will be interesting.