13 October 2014 05:19
Russia coach Fabio Capello refuted the notion his men were under-prepared, after they were held 1-1 by Moldova in their Euro 2016 qualifier.
The former England boss’ tenure in charge of Russia is reportedly under threat, especially after handing Group G cellar dwellers Moldova their first point of the qualifying phase in their Moscow clash.
Artem Dzyuba’s 73rd-minute penalty was thought to have spared Russia’s blushes, but Alexandru Epureanu equalised a minute later for Alexandr Kurteyan’s man.
Capello said substitutions threw out their decision-making for the penalty, and he insisted they prepared adequately for the qualifier.
“Before the match, we discussed who would take the penalties,” Capello said, as reported by UEFA.com.
“First it was Aleksandr Kerzhakov, but he was substituted, and second was Sergei Ignashevich, but he was unsure, so Dzyuba decided to take it.
“You might think that we underestimated Moldova, but we prepared seriously.”
Capello said Russia prepared for a defensive Moldova unit, who did not concede from open play.
“We knew that our opponents were not an easy team to play and it would not be simple to get three points,” Capello said.
“We expected Moldova to defend by any means and we could only score a penalty.
“But we let our opponent equalise. Moldova had a very good defensive strategy and a very good сounter-attack.”
Kurteyan disagreed with Capello’s assessment they were negative, claiming the visitors were chasing the win.
“The match was very difficult for us and we understood this,” the Moldova boss said.
“The main goal was to build a new strategy in defence. I hope that the quality of our play will improve.
“We had big intentions to succeed in this match. Our dedication was great.
“We succeeded in fulfilling our game plan. We played with two forwards because we did not have enough resources to play one.
“We tried to attack; we didn’t just try to keep the score at 0-0.”