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Russia inch closer to knockout phase

A 1-0 victory over Group B leaders Turkey at Hull City FC’s Boothferry Park took Russia a step closer to the knockout stages of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship.

Looking good for the Russian squad (©Empics)
There seemed little indication that Russia were compromised by the loss of key players through injury as their confidence and possession grew. Despite an energetic start by Turkey, Russia had the best of the first half and their precise passing paid off in the 36th minute with a goal by Anatoli Guerk from the edge of the box.

Plenty of opportunities
A brighter, more open second half saw plenty of opportunities for both teams with Russia’s best chance falling to Serguei Pougatchev, a right-footed strike from 30 metres nudged over the bar by goalkeeper Sener Ozcan in the 50th minute.

Fine goalkeeping
Mesut Balci had chances for Turkey, and in the closing minutes his team piled on the pressure but a fine goalkeeping display from Serguei Ivanov kept them at bay to leave Russia top of Group B with one game to play.

'Very tense game'
Russia’s coach Yuri Smirnov said: "It was a very tense game against a very strong side. I was pleased with our defence, forwards and especially our goalkeeper Ivanov and striker Guerk. I’m looking forward to our game against the Netherlands on Friday although it will be a difficult task for us as the Netherlands are growing in confidence as the tournament progresses."

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