Zero is Better Than Nothing: Armenia-Russia fight to nil-nil football final

Zero is Better Than Nothing: Armenia-Russia fight to nil-nil football final

NAZIK ARMENAKYAN
ArmeniaNow

Fans not at the sold-out match watched from a giant screen near the Opera House.

Fans of the Armenian national football team will have to look to the moral scoreboard to find a ‘W’ following 90+ minutes of 0-0 action against Russia at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan Saturday evening.


In a much-anticipated UEFA qualifier, the red and blue came into the match the Group B-leading visitors in competition aiming toward Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The one-point awarded for the draw leaves the six-team group standings unchanged and awaiting subsequent competition within the group before Russia hosts Armenia in the re-match June 4.

Russia applied pressure through much of minutes 23 through 45 of the first half, during which Armenia’s goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky secured three of his four first-period (and match total) saves.

But it was the home team taking the early attack after intermission, strengthened by the (minute 49) substitution that brought former Ajax striker Edgar Manucharyan into the fray.

The best opportunity to unlock the tote for either side came at minute 52 for Armenia on a three on two attack inside the box that resulted in Yura Movsisyan’s angled stroke skirting narrowly wide left from about 15 feet.

The teams ended with the same amount of attempts, nine; but Armenia managed only one corner all night, against 13 for Russia.

Armenia entered the match having never scored a goal nor a point against the visitors and came on the pitch at 1-7 bookmaker underdogs.

Tickets ($8-20) to Yerevan’s 15,000-seat football arena had been sold out almost ten days before the event and within a little more than a week after their sale was launched, revealing the huge interest in the sporting battle against a nation that also represents the country’s strategic and military ally.