‘F*ck VAR!’ Finland fans vent at disallowed goal, Russians rejoice after Euro 2020 meeting in St. Petersburg (VIDEO)
There were contrasting emotions on display among Russian and Finnish fans after the two nations met in their Euro 2020 Group B game in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
A superbly-taken goal by Aleksei Miranchuk in first-half injury time was enough to give Stanislav Cherchesov’s team their first points in Group B, and saw Russia bounce back from an opening game battering at the hands of Belgium.
For Finland, who are appearing for the first time at a major tournament finals, it was a first defeat in the group after their shock win against Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday.
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As fans streamed out of Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg in the glorious evening sunshine on Wednesday afternoon, the contrasting emotions were on display after jubilant Russians celebrated their team’s revived fortunes.
In contrast, the Finns were disappointed at ending up on the wrong side of a tight contest in which they had an early headed finish from Joel Pohjanpalo ruled out for the most marginal of offsides.
“We supported the team with all our hearts, with all our souls,” one female Russian fan wearing football-themed traditional headwear told RT’s Ruptly video agency after the game.
“Maybe our hope and collective support helped the team to win. They were all great, they fought right until the end.”
“I’m really happy that Russia won,” added another fan with a Russian tricolor draped over his shoulders.
“But [the] football is disgusting and I don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to reach the knockout stages.”
Chants of ‘Rossiya, Rossiya’ rang out around the stadium, while popular patriotic song ‘Katyusha’ was given a rendition by groups of Russian fans.
The Finns meanwhile mostly remained upbeat as they continued to enjoy their maiden appearance on European international football’s biggest stage.
“It was a tough game, but I think it would have been a more fair result [if it was] 1-1,” said one Suomi fan.
“Russia have good players, Finland fought hard, it’s difficult,” added another Finnish supporter.
“We still have a chance to go through to the playoffs, so 1-0 it’s OK,” one fan said.
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Elsewhere, some Finnish supporters were bit more blunt with their views on the early header from Pohjanpalo being chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
“F*ck VAR,” one fan exclaimed to RT Sport when asked about the disallowed strike, but nonetheless said he was “happy” to be at the tournament.
Russia and Finland are now level on three points – the same number as group favorites Belgium before the Red Devils meet Denmark in Copenhagen in their second Group B clash on Thursday.
The final round of games sees Russia travel to Copenhagen to play Denmark, while Finland are back in St. Petersburg to meet Belgium.
“It’s an easy game [against Belgium],” said the anti-VAR Finland fan optimistically. “We are still in the tournament.”
“1-1, Teemu Pukki will score,” added his friend.
A draw could well be enough to see Finland into the last 16, with the four best third-placed team from each of the six groups also qualifying along with the top two teams from each group.
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