Euro 2020 qualifying Group I has all but sealed its top two in the group after tonight’s results.
The Russians avoided a potential banana skin in their match against Kazakstan.
The Kazakstani’s have proven to be quite the surprise package of Group I. Tey opened their campaign up by stunning Scotland with a 3-0 victory at home. Since then they have managed a victory against San Marino and a draw against Cyprus.
But up until the 89th minute, they were about to spring their greatest feat of all. The end of the 89th minute arrived, and the fourth official showed four extra minutes.
The Kazakstan national team were just five minutes away from holding the mighty Russians to a 0-0 draw. But unfortunately, it ws not to be.
Up popped CSKA Moscows Brazillian-Russian right-back Mario Fernandes to latch on to the end of a Golovin assist.
The favorites blushes were spared.
The Russians did dominate the game in terms of opportunities, with 24 shots in comparison to Kazakhstan’s 4. But with possession at a little over 60%, it was not entirely convincing.
The Cypriots who managed a draw with Kazakhstan the other day fared better in terms of possession and may now fancy their chances.
Russias for has been debatable, and the Cypriots may steal a cheeky scalp in the next round of games in October when they play hist to Russia.
In the other game of this group, Cyprus traveled to part-timers San Marino and gained three valuable points with a 4-0 win.
The stats tell the entire story, with 30 shots from Cyprus to San Marinos zero and possession for the Cypriots at 75%.
As the group stands, with four rounds to go, Belgium sit pretty at the top with 18 points, Russia second with 15, Cyprus and Kazakhstan 3rd and fourth respectively on seven points, Scotland fifth with six and San Marino bottom with zero.
The Belgiums and Russians are all but in, barring a miracle.
But it must be said, both sides will face much stiffer opposition in the tournament itself. As all four of the also rans in the group have hardly been competition.
— ЕВРО-2020 в Санкт-Петербурге (@euro2020spb) September 9, 2019