‘F*ck VAR!’ Finland fans vent at disallowed goal, Russians rejoice after Euro 2020 meeting in St. Petersburg (VIDEO)
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.Also on rt.com Back in business: Cherchesov hails ‘real team’ after Miranchuk’s stunning strike sees Russia past Finland for first Euro 2020 win
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.
“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 despite their team's defeat, as they continued to enjoy a 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,” said one fan.Also on rt.com WATCH: Russian fans GATECRASH Finnish party in rowdy scenes ahead of Euro 2020 game in St. Petersburg
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, making a prediction for the Belgium match.
A draw in that game could well be enough to see Finland into the last 16, with the four best third-placed teams from each of the six groups also qualifying for the knockout stages along with the top two teams from each group.