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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Russia stay positive
Russia's Vladimir Beschastnykh despairs at the end of the game
Russia need to beat Belgium to ensure their progress
Russia refused to be downbeat following their 1-0 defeat by Japan in Yokohama.

The World Cup co-hosts won 1-0 in front of a delirious crowd in Yokohama thanks to a second-half goal from Arsenal's Junichi Inamoto.

The result puts Japan top of Group H and means Russia need to beat Belgium in their final game to make sure of qualifying for the second phase.

Coach Oleg Romantsev refused to talk to the press after the game but his assistant, Mikhail Gershkovich, was happy that his side's fate was still in their own hands.

"You're never happy with a loss, but the only consolation is that the tournament is still going on," he said.

"We have a match against Belgium to play and if we win we will go through - so our destiny is still in our hands.

"The Japan team was quite strong, but it wasn't a big surprise, we had studied them carefully.

"Some of our players didn't show their individual skills. They need to be more sharp when they have good opportunities to score.

"The Japan team was quite strong, but it wasn't a big surprise, we had studied them carefully.

"The spectators didn't bother us, we have experienced players. They weren't afraid of the crowd.

Russia thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the first-half when Igor Semshov was flattened by Kazuyuki Toda.

"We thought it was a penalty," playmaker Alexander Mostovoi said.

"If it had been given as a penalty, who knows what might have happened?"


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1




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