Finland lost 1-0 to Russia in Saint Petersburg in their second Euro 2020 Group B match on Wednesday, in their first match since Denmark‘s Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest against them in their tournament opener.
Aleksey Miranchuk’s strike in first-half stoppage time was the difference between the two teams in Finland’s first match since their opening win over Denmark on Saturday, which was overshadowed by the incident which halted the game. Finland warmed up for Wednesday’s clash wearing t-shirts with “Get well Christian” written across them.
Russia suffered a blow on 25 minutes when defender Mario Fernandes was taken off on a stretcher, but they nearly went ahead when substitute Vyacheslav Karavaev looked set to tap-in, only to be denied by Finland defender Jere Uronen.
Both teams looked like they could not be separated going into the break but in first half stoppage time, the deadlock was broken. Miranchuk played a neat one-two with Artem Dzyuba inside the box, and then lifted a fine strike into the far corner.
Finland would have been 1-0 up after only three minutes with a superb header from Joel Pohjanpalo, but it was ruled out by VAR for offside. Ten minutes later, Russia missed an opportunity as Magomed Ozdoev’s attempt went wide.
Finland, who qualified for their first-ever major football tournament, made two late substitutions with Pyry Soiri coming on for Jukka Raitala and Lassi Lappalainen replacing Teemu Pukki, but could not make an attempt.
Belgium face Denmark on Thursday in Group B’s other game. Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has said Eriksen will watch the match from hospital.
Finland’s next Group B game is against Belgium on June 21 at St Petersberg, while Russia will face Denmark in Copenhagen on the same day.