Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Spain vs. Russia Part II
by Joe Addison, June 26th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[EURO 2008]The second semifinal in Euro 2008 (ESPN2, 2:30 pm ET) offers an intriguing rematch between two teams that met in group play 16 days ago. In that clash, David Villa scored the tournament's only hat trick as Spain defeated the Russians, 4-1. But Russia bounced back in a big way, thanks much to the return of its star playmaker.

"That day [against Spain] we fell into the big trap of giving gifts to our opponents, but after a couple of analytical sessions, then work in training, everything was fixed," said Russian coach Guus Hiddink.

Russia won its remaining two group games to qualify from Group D behind Spain.

Another important factor in Russia's turnaround was the return of midfield playmaker Andrei Arshavin. The 27-year-old missed the first two group games due to suspension, having received a red card in Russia's final qualifying game, against Andorra.

His return to the squad gave the Russians an attacking edge that delivered a 2-0 win over Sweden and a thoroughly deserved 3-1 overtime victory over the heavily favored Dutch.

"I've played better games, so many times," Arshavin said. "It's just that the team is winning. I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes I score, sometimes I provide a pass."

Spanish coach Luis Aragones praised the Russians' tenacity.

"I believe that they are physically better than any other team in the competition," he said.

Aragones indicated that he would name an unchanged squad and would not drastically alter his side's tactics to contain Arshavin.

"No we're not going to change ... if it's not broken don't fix it," he said. "We have to work very hard, put in a big effort, but we'll make it to the final."

Spain enters the game as favorites and will look to forward pair Villa and Fernando Torres to break down a Russian defense that will be missing suspended central defender Denis Kolodin. Russian midfielder Dmitri Torbinski will also miss out through suspension.

Russia is hoping to return to the European Championship final for the first time since 1988, when, as the Soviet Union, it lost 2-0 to the Netherlands.

The Soviet Union's lone tournament triumph came in 1960 when it defeated Yugoslavia, 2-1.

Spain has not been in a final since losing 2-0 to France in 1984. Spain's only major title came in 1964 when it defeated the Soviet Union 2-1 the European Championship final.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone’s livelihood. It’s about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
On Sept. 18, Fox Sports will air two live MLS matches -- Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy ...
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
WCQ Callups: T&T goes heavy on U.S.-based players    
Nine U.S.-based players -- five in MLS, three in the USL and one in the NASL ...
Video Pick: And the winner is ... Messi    
Add 2015-16 UEFA Goal of the Season to Lionel Messi's large collection of honors. His goal ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives