Yevseyev goal sends Wales crashing
Yevseyev celebrates Russia's winner.
|EURO 2004 QUALIFIERS|
Portugal (hosts), France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Greece, England, Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, Latvia, Netherlands, Russia.
CARDIFF, Wales -- Russia broke Welsh hearts with a 1-0 win at the Millennium Stadium to seal a place in the Euro 2004 finals.
Full back Vadim Yevseyev's 22nd-minute header put Georgy Yartsev's side through after a 0-0 first leg draw in Moscow and ended Wales' dream of a first appearance at a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.
Yevseyev, who was involved in a controversial clash with Wales winger Ryan Giggs in the first leg, nodded home a Rolan Gusev free kick to settle the tie.
Giggs hit a post in response for Wales, who had led their qualifying group by five points at one stage, but Russia defended well to leave manager Mark Hughes frustrated once again.
In truth Wales, with only John Hartson up front, looked ill-equipped to worry a tidy Russian side and rarely tested their rookie goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev who was making his debut in place of suspended Sergei Ovchinnikov.
The closest they came was after 42 minutes when Giggs stabbed a shot against the post after finding himself clear in front of goal.
Wales started the second half with a flourish. First Gary Speed should have done better when he headed a Jason Koumas corner wide. Then Giggs glanced a close range effort over from another Koumas cross.
But it was Russia who looked the more likely side to score. First Dmitry Alenichev cut in dangerously before his shot was blocked and then Welsh keeper Paul Jones was forced into a brilliant save from Dmitry Bulykin after a swift counter-attack.
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