Lille: Captain Marek Hamsik set up the first goal and scored the second as Slovakia defeated a sluggish Russia 2-1 in a Group B encounter of the Euro football championship here on Wednesday.
Slovakia were struggling to break the strong Russian defence when Hamsik delivered a wondrous pass from midfield to Weiss, who took three quick touches and wrong-footed two Russian defenders before swinging a shot across Igor Akinfeev and inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post in the 32nd minute.
If that was hard on Russia, what happened next was harder as Napoli attacking midfielder Hamsik received Weiss’s short corner from the left and curled a powerful right-footed shot in, giving Slovakia a 2-0 lead just before the half-time.
Two half-time changes retooled Russia into more outwardly aggressive side, Artem Dzyuba the sapper detailed with undermining Slovakia’s defences.
After being comfortable for most of the match, Slovakia endured a nervy end to the game.
Substute Denis Glushakov headed in from Igor Shatov’s cross in the 80th minute to prompt a frenzied finale.
What followed was something of siege, with Slovakia desperately blocking wave after wave of Russian attacks.
Artem Dzyuba broke into the box, but couldn’t get his shot through the massed ranks of the Slovakian defence.
With this win, Slovakia, who lost their first match to Wales, jumped to the second spot with thee points, while Russia, who drew england 1-1, are now fourth.