Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Spain vs. Russia Part II
by Joe Addison, June 26th, 2008 7AM

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
USA-Canada International Friendly Player Ratings    
The USA closed out its winter camp with a 1-0 win over Canada on a late ...
UCLA lands Pugh and Fleming in recruiting coup    
UCLA has signed U.S. women's national team player Mallory Pugh and Canadian Women's World Cup veteran ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 4)    
Columbus Crew SC now has Ola Kamara to go along with Kei Kamara. The 26-year-old Ola ...
USA-Canada Preview: Youngsters should get second look    
Jurgen Klinsmann says he has two short-term goals for the USA's second and final test of ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Naturally, we're upset. The players are very, very upset. We feel disrespected. We feel that our ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Kiesewetter    
"I always did [feel like an American]. My mom always told me about my dad, about ...
Detroit City FC hits financing goal for stadium work    
Detroit City FC, the community-based NPSL team that has become a hit in the Motor City, ...
Video Pick: The Vardy Volley    
In case you missed it, or would like to see it again from every possible angle, ...
Under the hood of MLS's CBA    
The contours of the collective bargaining agreement MLS reached with the MLS Players Union have been ...
Making a List: 2015 U-17s in the pros    
Joshua Perez, nephew of former U.S. World Cup player Hugo Perez, signed with Italy's Fiorentina, becoming ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives