Slovakia deepened Russia’s woes with classy first-half goals from Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik in a tense 2-1 victory in Euro 2016 Group B on Wednesday.
Just 24 hours after Uefa told Russia it would be expelled from the tournament if their fans caused more crowd trouble, the Slovaks outplayed them for large parts of a match contested under a closed roof because of forecasts of heavy rain.
Slovakia, after losing their opening clash 2-1 to Wales, took the lead in the 32nd minute when midfielder Hamsik hit a superb long ball to Weiss who cut inside the left-hand side of the box and curled his shot inside the far post.
Just before halftime Hamsik picked up a short corner on the left and struck his own superb curling shot across the goal and inside the right hand post.
Russia made the last 10 minutes intense with a header from Denis Glushakov but the Slovaks survived, leaving Russia with a point from a draw with England at the weekend when their fans were involved in violent clashes with opposition supporters.
Russia coach Leonid Slutsky named an unchanged starting line-up for Wednesday’s Euro 2016 Group B meeting with Slovakia.
Slutsky has opted to keep faith with the team that started in Saturday’s violence-marred 1-1 draw with England in Marseille, when captain Vasili Berezutski rescued a point in injury time.
In contrast, Slovakia coach Jan Kozak made three changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Wales in Bordeaux in their opening encounter.