FINLAND – SLOVENIA 1:5 (0:1)
January 11th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 2000 spectators
Best players: Niilo Maenpaa, Rok Vodisek
Post match comments
Alexei Eremenko, Head coach of team Finland:
– It's clear nobody expected or planned such a result. And it's a shame that having so many chances in the first half we were unable to convert them. We didn't score from a penalty spot and got a goal right before the half-time. The team started the second half in a good manner, although it turned out to be tricky overall. We were not facing anything difficult, but again we didn't use our own chance, missed a counter-attack conceding another goal and began to make mistakes. It's our fifth game and we started to think, to move and to make decisions more slowly. Hence, we got what we got. But nevertheless the players did well, fighting till the end and scoring a goal. Slovenia is a very good team, very organized. They control the ball well and don't lose it easily. They are attacking fast and they move well. It's a good, well-balanced team. I congratulate them.
– If you had scored from a penalty spot, the course of the match could have turned another way. Did you deliberately let Kairinen take a penalty shot? Is he a usual penalty taker?
– Yes. He usually takes shots from the eleven meter spot.
– How seriously is Varmanen injured?
– They had a clash knee to knee in that episode. But he could not describe what happened to the doctor – whether his knee was twisted or whether it just went back. That's why it's not clear. Let's hope it's a not a ligament tear and it's just a bruise. He is a good guy and we missed him on pitch today.
– Who do you like to play for the third place?
– I'd like to get St. Petersburg as our opponent. We have already played against Russia and I want new impressions.
– Your team conceded eight goals in last two matches. Is it an accident or a consistent trend? Will you have new players appearing on pitch tomorrow?
– If we take a look at the conceded goals, we'll see individual mistakes made by individual players. We were losing the ball where we should not do that. And when we needed to score to get back in the game we were missing counter-attacks. Our goalkeeper could have played more interestingly in some episodes, but he did not save. So I cannot call this "a trend". As for changes, what can we do? To get up in the morning and go outside to breathe fresh frosty air? We'll be having our sixth match over ten days, what changes are you talking about? We shall simply try to play our football. This is the last opportunity to see the players as they will be going to their clubs right after. Next time we'll get together for two friendly matches in March. And we won't start this March training camp from the scratch as we'll know the capabilities of every player.
Igor Benedejcic, Head coach of team Slovenia:
– This was a hard match. Especially the first half when the Finns had several scoring chances. Our goalkeeper saved us in some moments, and he denied a penalty kick. But in the second half we managed to score several times more, and that's right that the guys didn't stop and kept going forward making the score so big.
– Our congratulations with your team reaching the final. Which team would you like to meet there, Russia or St. Petersburg?
– We just want to play this match tomorrow, and the opponent doesn't matter at all. We haven't had matches either with team Russia or with team St. Petersburg. We just want to play well in the final.
– So will you show the same attacking football in the final?
– We would like to, although tomorrow we will have our fifth match in ten days. I don't know if we have time to recover. It is difficult to play two games in two days.
Alexei Eremenko: – Slovenia will have their fifth match, not the sixth? So that's the case – we have had five matches. And I wonder why my guys don't run and the Slovenians do, so now it is clear (laughing). They were fresher, that's why they won.
– The coaches were, to put it so, "pressing" Zizek during the entire first half, and finally he scored. Did he do this so that everyone would leave him in peace?
– We were not pressing, we were encouraging. And his goal was the reaction.
#30 Finland - Slovenia