MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS, Andrei Mikhailov/. The Russian national football team achieved a landmark victory blanking Scotland 4-0 on Thursday in a group stage qualifier for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, Alexander Medvedev, the director general of Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg FC, told TASS on Friday.
Playing at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday night in front of the over 65,700 home crowd the Russian national team defeated Scotland 4-0. The goals were scored by Artyom Dzyuba (57th and 70th minute), Magomed Ozdoyev (60th minute) and Alexander Golovin (84th minute).
“This was a landmark victory due to the final score,” Medvedev said in an interview with TASS. “We did not manage to score in the opening period, but we scored very beautiful four goals in the second period. We could have scored more.”
“I would rather refrain from singling out the players as it was a united team effort on the field,” he continued. “But certainly I am delighted that St. Petersburg FC players did their best and they are Artyom Dzyuba, Magomed Ozdoyev, Yury Zhirkov, and others.”
“It is always pleasant when the players of your favorite team are contributing to the game of the national squad, but the most important thing is the unity and the team spirit. It was not a mix of players on the field, but a unified and real team,” he added.
The national team’s captain and Zenit FC forward Artyom Dzyuba scored eight goals in seven qualifying matches of the 2020 Euro Cup and is currently second on the list of the best strikers of the upcoming tournament following Israeli’s attacking midfielder Eran Zahavi, who scored 10 goals in seven qualifiers.
Medvedev stated that in case Dzyuba manages to score ten goals before the end of the qualifiers it would crown Russia’s triumphant efforts to qualify for the European football championship. “Will Dzyuba be able to score ten goals in the qualifiers in the run-up to the 2020 Euro Cup? If he does, it will be the icing on the cake, which will be served to celebrate the qualification for the tournament. If he achieves this goal, it will be pleasant not for him only, but all [Russian] football fans as well,” Medvedev said.
After playing six matches in its Group I, Russia landed the 2nd place with 18 points following leaders Belgium with 21 points. Cyprus is currently ranked 3rd (10 points), and is followed by Kazakhstan (7 points), Scotland (6 points) and San Marino (0 points). The top two teams in the group will qualify for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. Group leaders Belgium have already secured a berth in the next year’s European football championship.
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
The newly-built football arena in St. Petersburg hosted the opening and final matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and also served as one of the 12 stadiums across the country hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
A total of 24 national football teams will be playing in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, have to play qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championship.
It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.