EURO 2020: Finns blame 'energy loss' of disallowed goal after Russia defeat

Finland vs Russia: Joel Pohjanpalo had the ball in the net in the fifth minute but his wild celebrations were cut short by VAR as he was revealed to be slightly offside.

Joel Pohjanpalo

Joel Pohjanpalo of Finland leaves the pitch after a Euro 2020 Group B match against Russia at the St. Petersburg stadium on Wednesday.   -  AP

Finland was left to rue an early goal chalked off for a marginal offside decision as it fell to a 1-0 defeat by Russia in its Euro 2020 Group B clash on Wednesday.

Joel Pohjanpalo, who scored the winner against Denmark on Saturday, had the ball in the net in the fifth minute, but his wild celebrations were cut short by VAR as he was revealed to be slightly offside.

"I don't know how far Joel was offside, but it was so close. It's all about fine margins, and today they didn't go our way," Finland captain Paulus Arajuuri said.

"It gives you a huge energy boost when you score. And when it's ruled out, it takes a lot of energy out of you, too," he added.

The Finns were undone by a goal in first-half stoppage time by Aleksei Miranchuk, and though they battled hard throughout the second half, they could not find an equaliser.

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"Unfortunately, the efficiency today with the goal-scoring chances wasn't on a high level, and the Russian defenders were able to block our shots," Finland coach Markku Kanerva told reporters.

"Overall the offensive game was okay. In the second half, we had many more opportunities to control the ball for long periods, but this is not a game of statistics. It's all about having the skill to score and to defend against chances."

Finland will now face Belgium, its toughest Group B opponent, in its final game, and depending on other results the side may well need a draw or a win if it is to have any hope of making it through to the knockout stage.

"Belgium is one of the strongest teams in the tournament so it's a massive challenge for us. This team has shown before that they are able to play above their level and make their dreams come true," Kanerva said.

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