At the GSP stadium in Nicosia World Cup qualifying round Group H match Cyprus had the tough task of playing the Russian National team. They were coming off into this game low in confidence after a shock 3-0 defeat in Malta and knowing a win or draw and even a loss of a small margin would be a good result for them.
Russia started on the front foot attacking from the kick off and scored as early as the sixth minute when the Russian midfielder Erokhin was left oh his own on the right side of the box to blast the ball into the corner of the net.
Russia continued to control the game with a few clear cut chances until the later stages of the first half when Cyprus came into its own with the young Omonia star Loizos Loizou very creative and playing a major role in their recovery.
Cyprus had a couple of clear cut chances
in the 34th minute when Niko Ioannou hit a volley which was blocked by a Russian defender and a header from Pittas that flew just over the bar a few minutes later.
Russia added a second in the 55th minute through Zhemaletdinov and although both teams created chances their finishing was poor leaving the final result to stand at 2-0.
Russia now go top of the group equal on ten points with Slovakia and Cyprus bottom and equal on four points with Malta.
The two teams play on Tuesday 7th September 2021 Cyprus versus Slovenia and Russia against Malta.