FINLAND – RUSSIA 1:6 (1:2)

Match for the 3rd place

January 12th, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 3000 spectators

Best players: Niilo Maenpaa, Egor Denisov

Post match comments


Alexei Eremenko, Head coach of team Finland:

– Of course, six matches in nine days are too much. It's a torture for the players. We could see their fatigue already in the match against Slovenia. Considering that Slovenia had one game less than us, we could feel the difference in physical preparation. Today we lost mostly in individual skills. Russia had an advantage in this component throughout the entire match. But as for me – and this is my first tournament with the team – I've got a huge pack of information: what they are capable of, how well they are prepared, what their characters are. I very much liked the first games on the tournament. The guys were still fresh, their legs could run, and their brains were quick. Then they got tired. I am not making a tragedy of the last two games, for I know the true force and potential of my players.

– You are speaking about individual players of your opponent, but you also have some players, like Ismail, your number 19...

– Well... But look at what he's doing. Right, he can outplay one, or two, or three, and then? I always say, it's not important how many players you've passed, the important is what follows. Did he score in the end? Ok, let it be not a goal. Did the pass reach its addressee? That is what presents a positive index and not how beautifully he dribbles. You may enjoy such dribble moves in your yard. And, on the contrary, if I have a player who helps his partner to get a scoring moment with one pass I will praise him. The result is what matters.

– There is an impression that your team got scared after scoring a goal...

– Right, so it was. Having scored in the first minutes one is always, especially in this age, confused if he should be happy or start worrying. It's quite a slippery moment. Two minutes from the starting whistle and it's 1:0! And the opponent is strong.

– Whom would you highlight in the Russian teams?

– Unfortunately I haven't seen team St. Petersburg as it just didn't happen. And team Russia is a leveled team, so it's hard to highlight anybody personally, if only number 16 who caused us many problems in the defensive midfield. But this is a personal evaluation. You can evaluate a player for his qualities shown in first matches when he is vigorous and fresh. Further on it's not about his playing qualities, it's about his character rather.

– You said you hadn't taken your son Sergey to the tournament purposefully...

– Yes, we left him and several other players in Finland. He was born in 1999. They are having a big tournament in Minsk and we saved them. Though he would have helped us and made us stronger here.


Mihail Galaktionov, Head coach of team Russia:

– Of course, our team has been in a shocked stance after the match yesterday. Nobody expected such a result. That's why our main task as coaches was to get our players walking onto the pitch in a right mood, that life goes on and that football is a game. And that we cannot go down because of one match result or make rapid fire conclusions. So we are happy with a win today, with the right reaction of the players to yesterday's criticism and with a homework correcting mistakes well done.

– What happened to the team in the beginning of the match?

– I think when a team concedes a goal on the first minutes it is due to a lost concentration or a lost position on the pitch. We might have been over prepared. We warned the guys in the dressing room that they needed to put themselves together, that the opposing team was smart and experienced and that they would do provocative acts to make us "get open". And this is exactly what happened. It's great we woke up quickly and managed to catch drive afterwards.

– You had a different goalkeeper in the starting eleven today. This means that the tournament has ended sadly for the goalkeeper we saw yesterday...

– (Alexei Eremenko entering) And I have two goalkeepers finishing the tournament sadly!

– We have long been consulting internally including our goalkeeper coach and the guys themselves analyzing the situation. We made a decision that no one is blaming anyone for the last match. We simply gave practice to the second goalkeeper.

– Making a substitution, what were you aiming Terekhov at?

– We were not even thinking that he's one of the nominees for "the best goal scorer". Moreover, we were concerned with his physical condition as it worried our medical staff for quite a long time already. But Anton is a fighter. It was yesterday that he felt minor ailment, but today we let him play and he did great!


#34 Finland - Russia

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