Back from the national sides – undefeated!

Zenit players who were on duty in their national teams are returning to the club in a good mood today: not a single national side with Zenit players lost on Tuesday.

The national teams of Belarus and Andorra started Tuesday evening`s qualification matches. Yury Zhevnov, Zenit goalkeeper, was once again named Belarus captain, confirming Zenit`s nickname as the “team of captains”. Zhevnov had a good match, gaining a victory and shutout, while calmly and confidently organizing his defense. When halftime came in Minsk, Belarus, Zenit`s players in the Russian national side entered the pitch in Skopje. Alexander Anyukov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Igor Denisov, Roman Shirokov, and Alexander Kerzhakov. The latter got the game-winning goal for Russia in just the eighth minute on a pass from Anyukov. Zenit palyers were written into the match protocol three more times: Zyryanov picked up a yellow card in the 50th minute and Anyukov did the same in the 57th minute. In the 81st minute the Zenit halfback Vladimir Bystrov came onto the field for Russia.

Parallel to Russia`s match, Zenit fullback Tomas Hubocan also defended the colors of the Slovak side against Ireland. Despite several very dangerous opportunities created by Tomas (for which he was tackled maliciously several times by the Irish), in the end the Zenit player was written into the match protocol only for his yellow card in the 18th minute.

The most interesting game to watch on Tuesday night came in Brussels between the home side and Austria. Nicloas Lombaerts, Zenit center fullback, was directly involved in the match right from the start. In fact the Austrians made a sensation in the first half, and had a confident lead. But Nicolas stopped a very dangerous attack by the Austrians in the first minute of extra time at the end of the first half, thereby stopping the guests from getting ahead by two goals. Nicolas then gave his team the lead in the 90th minute, pushing Belgium ahead 4:3. But that wasn`t enough, because just moments before the final whistle the Belgian keeper let a goal go through his legs for a 4-4 finish.

Only six minutes were played between the Italians and Serbs in Genoa before the match was aborted. Zenit fullback Aleksandar Lukovic started the match for Serbia, while Danko Lazovic spent the six minutes on the bench.

The last Zenit players to take the field on Tuesday night were supposed to be Miguel Danny and Bruno Alves in the meeting between Portugal and Iceland. The match started at 23.45 St. Petersburg time. However, only Danny came onto the field – three minutes before the match ended. Despite his short time on the field, Miguel managed to create two scoring chances for his partner in the attack, Cristiano Ronaldo. The two missed chances didn`t have an effect on the final score though as Portugal won 3:1.