Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Loss to Austria in Euro 2016 Qualifier Adds to National Football Coach Capello's Woes

Austria had an apparently good goal disallowed, then scored from what seemed to be an offside position in two hectic minutes as they beat Russia 1-0 in a Euro 2016 Group qualifier on Saturday.

Substitute Rubin Okotie thought he had put Austria ahead in the 71st minute when the ball hit Igor Akinfeev's leg and appeared to just cross the line before the Russia goalkeeper pulled it back into play.

Goalline technology is not used in the competition, the referee waved play on and Austria was still protesting as Akinfeev sent Russia on a counter-attack.

However, the move broke down, the hosts went back down the other end and Okotie turned in Martin Harnik's low cross from close range, with television replays suggesting that he was offside by a hair's breadth.

"The first goal was in so, if the second was offside, maybe justice was done," Okotie, who plays for TSV Munich in the German second division, told Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Austria's win kept them top of Group G and on course for Euro 2016 with 10 points from four games while Russia has five following another blow for under-fire coach Fabio Capello.

"We played a good game, but a bad result," the Italian told a Russian interviewer in English on Austrian television. "We deserved at least a draw, but this is football."

The Russian FA said this week it did not have enough money to pay Capello who, according to media reports, has not been paid for five months.

Aleksandr Kokorin hit the post in the first half for Russia while Harnik's low shot was turned wide by Akinfeev in a generally scrappy first half.

Austria have never qualified for the European Championship and their only appearance at the tournament was as co-hosts in 2008 when they went out in the group stage.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.