Russia – France 6:5 (2:2)
Goals: Loktionov (19.) Morgado (20.) Arezki (21.) Egorov (38.)
The second semi-final started out very physical. France had already committed their 5th team foul only seven minutes into the game. However, it took until the 19th minute of play for the Russians to cash in on the foul trouble. When they were awarded a penalty kick for France’s 6th team foul from 8 meters out, Loktionov converted against goalie Royer to give his team the 1-0 lead. In the 20th minute, French player Morgado rewarded himself for an outstanding dribble and scored to tie up the game at 1-1.
Shortly after halftime break, Russian goalkeeper Iakovlev was the center of attention when he tried to save Arezki’s decent, but most definitely savable shot and deflected it against the crossbar from which the ball bounced into the net; 2-1 France. In the 33rd minute, the referees awarded another PK to Russia; this time, however, Loktionov could not capitalize. Third time’s the charme, one would think. Four minutes later, the Russians received another PK. Egorov stepped up, but missed as well. Only one minute later, Russia finally took advantage of their 4th PK of the game, when Egorov converted to tie the game at 2-2 to put the final back into reach. France at this point looked all over the place having lost all grip on this game, the result was another PK for Russia. Egorov stepped up again, but this time goalie should be the hero Royer saving the shot and his team’s chance to advance to the final.
The practice the Russians got taking PKs in the game should pay off. They kept their nerve in the following penalty shoot-out and advanced to the final where Spain will be waiting this Saturday.
Russia: Kirill Pechenin, Andrei Tikhonov, Alexey Loktinov, Denis Egorov, Evgenii Ivanov, Vasilii Nikolaev, Evgenii Shelaev, Sergey Manzhos, Nikita Egorov, Anton Iakovlev, Trainer: Aleksandr Erastov, Aleksandr Makhov
France: Julien Royer, Valentin Le Bomin, Yvan Wouandji, David Labarre, Fabrice Morgado, Martin Baron, Gael Riviere, Hakim Arezki, Reromz Penisson, Trainer: Samir Gassama