Football

Finland happy to play for a draw against Russia

Finland will be aiming to build on their 1-0 win over Denmark when they meet Russia tonight, as they aim for a spot in Euro 2020's knockout stages.

The players returned to the pitch after Denmark's Christian Eriksen had suffered cardiac arrest, completing the match in very tough circumstances, and Finland coach Markku Kanerva said his side would be happy with a draw against Russia in St Petersburg.

      EURO 2020: GROUP B
FINLAND RUSSIA

"Of course, it would be a very difficult starting point to start to play for a draw, it might easily affect the team and make them passive if you only play for the draw, but we will see how it goes, and if we draw the game, we would probably be satisfied," Kanerva said.

Finland's defenders are expecting a tough outing as Russia bid to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat by Belgium.

 

 

 

"Marking their players well when they get the ball into the box is key, and also defending against their free-kicks and corner kicks. Their midfield is very dynamic," Kanerva said.

The Danes dominated possession against Finland, but failed to capitalise on their chances.

Kanerva urged his players to be more positive against Russia, saying: "We are sure that Russia will press very hard from the very beginning, and we have to be skilful enough to play through that."

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said his team deserved criticism after being well beaten by Belgium.

"We have recovered from the first match. Now we have an absolutely different kind of preparation," he added.

Defender Yuri Zhirkov, 37, will miss the rest of the tournament after picking up a thigh injury in the first half against Belgium . - REUTERS

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