According to the taste of football fans, the Slovak national team showed itself in Trnava on Tuesday in the winning match with Russia (2: 1). After two powerful blows to the face in the form of a draw in Cyprus 0: 0. 2: 2 at home with Malta, many broke their sticks over them as they presented themselves slowly, outdated and even depressed.
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However, on Tuesday night, the Slovaks wrote a completely different story at the Anton Malatinský Stadium, after a compact, combative, determined and team performance, they defeated one of the favorites of the H-group qualification MS 2022 in Qatar.
Home goals were scored by Milan Škriniar and Róbert Mak, and Mario Fernandes scored for the “perfect”. In the introductory three-match association term in March, Stefan Tarkovic’s commissioners won five points in Group H, losing points to the leaders of Croatia and Russia. Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup continues with further matches until the fall.
On September 1, the Slovaks will join Slovenia, on the fourth they will welcome Croatia, and on September 7 Cyprus will be waiting for them at home. The next match will be played on June 6 in Vienna against Austria in general at EURO 2020. In the basic group of the final tournament, they will compete against Poland (June 14), Sweden (June 18) and Spain (June 23).
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The team around deputy captain Juraj Kuck got into a hot mess after the first two matches and faced harsh criticism. Against the 2018 World Cup quarterfinalists, the Slovak players presented themselves in a diametrically different way, increasing speed and especially aggression in personal fights.
They could show determination, mentality, and they could catch themselves in surprise, which had been noticeably lacking before. And they were deservedly rewarded with their first win in the group.
National team coach Štefan Tarkovič with captain Juraj Kuck
The national team coach Tarkovič also pointed out the team’s reaction at the press conference after the match: “The match went as we expected. I want to emphasize the reaction of the players after two games that we failed before, took us to the goal and after which we were under justified criticism. The method was also important to me, not just the result. It showed that he has character. “
The forty-eight-year-old coach of the Slovak Republic has a difference in the form of more than awkward entry with Cyprus and Malta, respectively. combat duel with Russia explains several factors. He reiterated that he refused to ask for an excuse in the form of absence of up to nine shots.
“Our team is being formed, it needs time and it is not enough in a busy calendar. Players have to believe in something and now the road is supported by points. We may be full of euphoria after a positive result, but we must analyze unsuccessful matches. Before this match we lost others. players, and they are Dúbravka, Valjent and Hancko due to health problems. But I repeat, this is not an excuse. “
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The situation in the group is interesting after the first three rounds. In addition to the unexpected losses of the Slovaks, they were also interested in the first Slovenian triumph over the Croats or the victory of Cyprus over Slovenia. The world runners-up from Croatia are ahead of Russia with six points, Slovakia is third with 5 points.
Slovak representatives celebrate the goal in the Russian net
Tarkovich expected the group to be balanced: “I’d love to have twelve points after three matches, but it’s not going, so we’re currently taking five. We are working under the pressure of results and all those expectations will not be met. Then we are under pressure from the media and the fans.
I believe that the five points we have now are still a solvable situation according to the qualifications. I believe we will continue to be in the game until the last possible game, the last possible minute and we will fight to be there. “
The coach of the Slovak Republic also briefly commented on the situation with Augsburg midfielder László Bénes, who did not come to the duel with Russia due to fatigue. “I don’t want to make a case about the situation with Bénes. He is a quality player for the national team, we will certainly meet and talk so that I can close it all. His reaction to his teammates and the national team is wrong.”