TEL AVIV, June 8 (R-Sport) – Russia’s under-21 football team is committed to boosting its attack after failing to land a single strike on target in their European championship opener, midfielder Pavel Yakovlev told R-Sport on Saturday.
“We’ll probably be more aggressive up front and pay more attention on the defensive end so there'll be more strikes on goal and more pressure in the opponent’s half,” the Spartak Moscow striker said as the squad prepares for Sunday’s tilt with the Netherlands in Jerusalem.
Russia managed only one off-target attempt in their 1-0 defeat against Spain on Thursday. But reinforcements are on the way in the form of striker Fyodor Smolov and playmaking midfielder Alan Dzagoev, both of whom played Friday in the senior team’s 1-0 World Cup qualifier loss to Portugal.
Under-21 coach Nikolai Pisarev told R-Sport early Saturday that Smolov and Dzagoev are expected board a flight Saturday evening and will arrive in Israel for a team practice that evening.
Smolov, who played with Anzhi Makhachkala this season on loan from Dynamo Moscow, scored seven goals in nine appearances during the under-21 qualifying stage in 2011 and 2012.