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EC Qualification

  • June 4, 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Stadion Petrovskij, Sankt-Peterburg (St. Petersburg)
  • Referee: S. Lannoy
  • • Attendance: 18000

Russia 3-1 Armenia: Pavlyuchenko hits hat trick to send Advocaat's side top of Group B

Russia 3-1 Armenia: Pavlyuchenko hits hat trick to send Advocaat's side top of Group B

The overmatched visitors simply could not keep up with Pavlyuchenko, as the Tottenham striker bags a treble at the Luzhniki Stadium

A Roman Pavlyuchenko hat trick saw Russia take all three points from Armenia in their Euro 2012 qualifier at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Pavlyuchenko scored two poacher's efforts and a second half penalty to send Russia top of Group B, pending the results of Slovakia and Ireland, who play later today.

The match began with the home fans in full song, but they were briefly silenced in the 25th minute, as Marcos Pizzelli beat Igor Akinfeev with a low shot from near the penalty spot.

However, they regained their collective voice barely a minute later, as Roman Pavlyuchenko volleyed home an inviting cross by Aleksandr Anyukov from the right wing.

Russia started the second half brightly, and eventually took a deserved lead on 59 minutes. A quick move following a throw in released Igor Semshov down the left. He crossed from the byline towards Pavlyuchenko, who was afforded the freedom of the Luzhniki Stadium to smash home at the far post.

The goal seemed to spark Armenia into life, and Russia spent the next 10 minutes camped in their own half. But despite their endeavour, Armenia could not muster enough quality to breach the Russian rearguard.

They were made to pay on 73 minutes when Pavlyuchenko completed his hat trick from the penalty spot. Following a failed attack by Armenia, Yuri Zhirkov broke clear down the left, only to be body-checked by Sargis Hovsepyan in the box. There was only going to be one taker, and Pavlyuchenko drove the ball into the right corner to wrap up his personal treble. Despite some late nervy moments in defence, Russia held on to claim all three points.

Russia now move provisionally on top of Group B with 13 points from six games. Slovakia and Ireland are both tied for second spot with 10 points from five games, but both play later today against Andorra and Macedonia respectively. Meanwhile, Armenia remain in 4th place with eight points from six games.

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