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Coach proud of Russian team despite Euro 2012 exit

(Xinhua)

08:14, June 18, 2012

MOSCOW, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Russian national football team coach Dick Advocaat said Sunday he was proud of his players although they had lost a crucial game with Greece Saturday night.

The 0-1 game crushed Russia's Euro 2012 dream and sent the 2004 champions into the next round together with the Czech Republic, which beat co-hosts Poland 1-0 in another Group A match.

"We did go forward, we were very attacking. We played well, but you have to score goals," Advocaat told reporters after the match. "We did that in first game and despite all the possession we didn't do that today."

Greece took advantage of a fatal defensive error of Russian defenders to secure a 1-0 win and a berth in the quarterfinals at Euro 2012.

The Greeks took the lead seconds before the interval when Giorgos Karagounis sent a low shot under Russia goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with the final touch of the first 45 minutes.

Still, Advocaat praised the Russian team for its good performance and its undefeated record for 16 games ahead of Saturday's match.

Saturday's game was Advocaat's last game in charge before his return to the PSV Eindhoven of Netherlands, local media reported.

The former Dutch football player has coached a number of clubs in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Russian club FC Zenit St. Petersburg with whom he won the Union of European Football Associations 2008 Cup Final.

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