Dull, anaemic and goalless in Turku
Wed. 17 August 1988
Kupittaan jalkapallostadion, Turku
Ref.: Jan Damgaard (DEN)
Finland continued their preparations ahead of the World Cup qualifying opener against West Germany, scheduled for two weeks later. Having drawn 1-1 against Bulgaria, this was their second and final test for the late summer of ’88. With their mighty and powerful neighbour making a visit from the east, manager Vakkila would hopefully know better in what shape they were for taking on the West Germans.
The Soviet team were in action for the first time since losing the final of the 1988 European Championships 2-0 to Holland. Legendary manager Valeriy Lobanovskiy had been given a break, and so it was his trusted assistant Yuri Morozov who lead the team in the Finnish town of Turku. The Soviet Union would still rely heavily on players from the successful Dinamo Kiev team, a team which had come to the fore through the Cup Winners’ Cup triumph during the 1985/86 season, where they had steamrollered their way into the final, a final in which they had beaten Atlético Madrid 3-0. After the disappointment of losing 4-3 to Belgium in extra time in the round of 16 during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, the USSR had done brilliantly to reach the final in West Germany. However, in what kind of mental state were they after losing to the Dutch? Would they be feeling some kind of a hangover effect, or would they be pepping themselves up ahead of the World Cup qualification, which would also take place two weeks later, in Iceland?
Finland were without Ari Hjelm. The attacking player dubbed ‘Zico’ had been among their better performers in an often dull game against the Bulgarians. However, they had midfield hard man Esa Pekonen back in the fold, and he would regain his captaincy, taking his place in the centre of the pitch alongside Jarmo Alatensiö, who had played out wide from start against Bulgaria, before he had been withdrawn at half time. In the centre of the pitch then had been Erik Holmgren, who this time around had been shifted out into a defensive left-sided position. Furthermore, there was no Marcus Törnvall. Also missing from the starting eleven was striker ‘Mixu’ Paatelainen, but the young Dundee United ace was on the bench.
The visitors would start the match with no less than nine players from Dinamo Kiev ¹, and among them was Aleksandr Zavarov, whose switch over to Italian giants Juventus was a matter of days away. They had relegated star ‘keeper Rinat Dasayev, whose transfer from Spartak Moscow to Sevilla in Spain was pending, to the bench, allowing Chanov a rare start. The USSR were without central defender Vagiz Khidiatullin, who recently had completed his move from Spartak Moscow to Toulouse in France. This meant that Morozov relegated Aleinikov from a holding midfield position and into a libero role, something which the fine Dinamo Minsk player was not foreign to anyway. He would at times bear an uncanny resemblance to the great Aleksandr Chivadze, the libero who had retired from international duty after a disappointing 3-1 home friendly defeat by Sweden in 1987, a match even played in his home city of Tbilisi. Meanwhile, having unfortunately sat out the European Championship final through suspension, centre-back Oleg Kuznetsov was back in the side.
From 13 previous meetings, the Finns had won only once: A 2-1 victory during the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, five years even prior to the Bolshevik revolution that would eventually lead to Russia become incorporated in the Soviet Union. However, the Finns had managed to shut the USSR out during a scoreless draw in Moscow just prior to the 1986 World Cup, in a match where this afternoon’s right-back Jyrki Hännikäinen had made his debut, and where goalkeeper Kari Laukkanen was winning his only second cap.
Referee was Dane Jan Damgaard, a 35 year old with three previous internationals under his belt. He had indeed officiated the Soviet Union earlier, his debut the 0-0 draw in Sweden almost to the day two years earlier.
Weather appeared ideal for football, perhaps with a breeze blowing along the pitch to the advantage of the visitors during the first half. However, the pitch did seem dry and bumpy, hardly favouring blisteringly quick counter-attacking football, something which the Soviet Union were famous for under Lobanovskiy and his assistant Morozov.
¹ Dinamos Kiev and Minsk had been supposed to meet in the Soviet ‘Vyshaya liga’ during the weekend prior to this friendly, but since they would have a high number of players between them featuring for the national team, their fixture had been re-scheduled for the end of the following month.
|1 Kari Laukkanen||24||Stuttgarter Kickers|
|2 Jyrki Hännikäinen||23||TPS Turku|
|3 Erik Holmgren||sub 86′||23||HJK Helsinki|
|4 Erkka Petäjä||24||Östers|
|5 Esa Pekonen (c)||26||AIK Solna|
|6 Jari Europaeus||25||Östers|
|7 Aki Lahtinen||29||OTP Oulu|
|8 Marko Myyry||20||Meppen|
|9 Jarmo Alatensiö||sub 67′||24||Brage|
|10 Jari Rantanen||sub 63′||26||Leicester|
|11 Ismo Lius||sub h-t||22||Kuusysi|
|14 Mika Aaltonen||on 67′||22||Bellinzona|
|15 Seppo Nikkilä||on 63′||26||Ilves|
|16 Mika-Matti Paatelainen||on h-t||21||Dundee United|
|17 Markku Kanerva||on 86′||24||HJK Helsinki|
Soviet Union (4-4-2)
|1 Viktor Chanov||29||Dinamo Kiev|
|2 Vladimir Bessonov||30||Dinamo Kiev|
|3 Sergey Aleinikov||26||Dinamo Minsk|
|4 Oleg Kuznetsov||25||Dinamo Kiev|
|5 Anatoly Demyanenko (c)||29||Dinamo Kiev|
|6 Vasily Rats||27||Dinamo Kiev|
|7 Aleksey Mikhaylichenko||25||Dinamo Kiev|
|8 Sergey Rodionov||sub 72′||25||Spartak Moskva|
|9 Aleksandr Zavarov||27||Dinamo Kiev|
|10 Oleg Protasov||sub 60′||24||Dinamo Kiev|
|11 Igor Belanov||27||Dinamo Kiev|
|12 Andrey Zygmantovich||on 72′||25||Dinamo Minsk|
|14 Sergey Gotsmanov||on 60′||29||Dinamo Minsk|
|x Rinat Dasayev||31||Spartak Moscow|
|x Sergei Baltacha||30||Dinamo Kiev|
|x Gennady Litovchenko||24||Dinamo Kiev|
¹ Manager Valery Lobanovsky didn’t travel for this match, so it was his trusted assistant Morozov who filled in
The home side are in their traditional 4-4-2. Europaeus would usually be the libero, and he is the spare man here again, as Lahtinen is often the one going directly in combat, but Europaeus does not sit very deep. The full-backs are quite restricted as far as participating inside Soviet territory goes, although Petäjä on the left hand side does have a couple of attempts at coming forward. In midfield, the left-sided Holmgren is of a far more defensive nature than the attacking Myyry on the opposite flank. Of the two central midfielders, it is captain Pekonen who is doing the holding work, with Alatensiö acting much as their playmaker. Finland appear a tad less direct this time around than they did against Bulgaria recently, but from time to time Lahtinen will attempt long balls in the direction of the tall and broad Rantanen, off whom Lius is running.
The visitors are also at 4-4-2, and it is Aleinikov doing libero duties with Kuznetsov usually making aerial challenges with Rantanen. Neither full-back is particularly adventurous during the opening 45 minutes, though right-back Bessonov will have moments where he comes into the centre of the pitch in order to contribute with distribution. Usually, this is Mikhaylichenko’s task. He sits just in front of his defence, and doesn’t seem too keen on accelerating beyond pedestrian pace. Zavarov’s midfield role is ahead of Mikhaylichenko, and he will try to support the front two. However, in the first period of the opening half, he will accept a more holding role if Rats and Demyanenko wish to combine along the left hand side, and towards the latter part of the half he will do something similar down the right hand side should Bessonov have a wish to participate inside the Finnish half. Rodionov, the attacking right-sided midfielder, is not always prone to sticking to his side, and at times seems out of sync with the rest of the team. Perhaps it is not an odd observation as he’s one of few players not from Dinamo Kiev. Among the front two, Protasov will typically remain in a central position, whereas Belanov will be seen both to the right and to the left; more wide than in the centre.
By four minutes from time, the two teams had made a total of six substitutions between them, and this is what they looked like for the final few minutes:
The Finns had made one half-time substitution, with ‘Mixu’ Paatelainen coming on for Lius to partner Rantanen up front. The latter would stick to his right-sided position among the centre-forwards, Paatelainen would take up Lius’ position to the left of centre. However, the second Finnish substitution was also a forward for another, with the beefy Nikkilä replacing Rantanen, thus seeing Paatelainen switch over to the right, with the most recent newcomer on in the left-sided centre-forward role. Possibly, they prefered to have the stronger striker aerial-wise in the right-sided position due to long balls up from the back, a move which they had typified as Lahtinen would often search for the target-man through a route one pass.
The Soviet Union brought on right-sided midfielder Gotsmanov for forward Protasov, which saw original wide midfielder Rodionov go up front alongside the mobile Belanov. Later, they would also bring on defensive midfielder Zygmantovich for the said Rodionov, something which saw Mikhaylichenko move up into the forward role, and the latest substitute take over for Mikhaylichenko at the rear of midfield.
The home side’s third substitution was a like for like swap with Aaltonen replacing Alatensiö in the left-sided central midfield position, and at the end they also took off Holmgren and brought on Kanerva in what was another straight swap.
Let it be said straight away: This was no spectacle for those only peripherally associated with football; it was a game for connaiseurs and for people who enjoy trying to work out the teams’ tactical dispositions. One might have thought beforehand that any match where the famously attacking Soviet side were one of the participants would make for great entertainment, but so was certainly not the case in the Finnish coastal town of Turku. The match was played on a dry, bumpy pitch, where even the classy Soviet players found it a struggle to contain the ball, and where passes would surprisingly often go astray. Also, being faced with a motivated home side hardly made their passage towards full time any easier, but they should have expected it; this is what being part of the most definite elite at international level brings.
Finland under Jukka Vakkila are a team that plays to its strengths and also knows about its limitations. There is little dallying in centre midfield. There’s no attempted back heel flicks or other signs of crowd courtship. They play with a compact back four, where hard man Lahtinen is just as much a vital log as libero Europaeus. Lahtinen is usually the one making the challenges with Protasov, who is leading the visitors’ line. And Lahtinen is also at the heart of Finland’s most prized weapon: the long balls. Indeed, when given space and time, Lahtinen will immediately look for the tall and broad figure of Rantanen up front. The visitors are aware of this, so they will only reluctantly give Lahtinen this opportunity, but it does still happen on a couple of occasions during the first half. Rantanen is likely to be challenged by Kuznetsov as he jumps for Lahtinen’s pass up from the back, and he will be looking to flick it on for either his forward partner Lius or the livewire that is Myyry out on the right hand side. The latter likes to come inside and act as a third striker once he sees signs of Lahtinen loading his weapon to launch a bullet in the direction of Rantanen. This is by no means a fluke, and must be seen as Vakkila’s chief plot to try and unsettle the opponent’s rear guard. However, they will not be using this particular ploy to the same extent as they had been against Bulgaria two weeks earlier.
In reserve, the Finns have yet another means for attack when opportunity arises: When given a throw-in anywhere from the 25 yard mark or closer to the byline, Lahtinen, again, will hurl the ball with pace towards the near post in a congested penalty area. The Finns are big and burly, and have several players well capable of challenging anyone in the air. However, it should be noted that the Soviet Union, despite their reputation for playing slick attacking football, are no team of midgets either. The Soviet Union themselves have players who will relish an aerial challenge, and their entire backline are individually capable of holding their own against the most fearsome of opponents.
At the heart of their defence, the visitors have Aleinikov, one of three players only in the starting eleven not currently associated with Dinamo Kiev. Aleinikov, equipped with a stylish moustache, does strike you as someone not totally lacking in physical resemblance to a previous central defensive USSR giant: the great Aleksandr Chivadze. Aleinikov has been a part of the Soviet set-up for a few years already, and so has blended in well with the many Dinamo Kiev players. It was common knowledge that Dinamo Minsk, the libero’s club, enjoyed a solid rivalry with the Kiev club, ‘just across’ the republic border from Ukraine, in the Belarus part of the Soviet Union. The 1987 Soviet Cup Final had been played between these two, and Kiev had managed to come from 3-1 down to take the match into extra time and later penalties, where they had eventually triumphed. The jubilation among the players who had won the European Cup Winners’ Cup only a year earlier showed what it had meant to them to beat their rivals and claim another title. Aleinikov had been among the Minsk goalscorers that day. He had often been seen in midfield, but in the absence of players such as Khidiatullin and the retired Baltacha, he had been given the libero role. Only on very few occasions during a tepid first half would he advance beyond the halfway line, though.
There is so little happening early on that the spectators could not have been blamed if they decided it was worth taking the risk of visiting the lavatory or even go to the kiosk for a hot dog with mustard. On 14 minutes comes the first attempt on goal, when Finnish creative midfielder Alatensiö, after he himself had been fouled by Bessonov after another long punt up from Lahtinen at the back, hits a free-kick from 20 yards straight at the expecting Chanov. The shot’s feeble, and it hardly presented the experienced ‘keeper, deputising for the absent Dasayev, with much of a challenge.
The composition of the Finnish midfield is a fine piece of art work by Vakkila. They have two players in the centre, captain Pekonen who is the hard man at the rear, and the more creative Alatensiö. The latter had been playing out on the left hand side in the opening 45 minutes in their previous match against Bulgaria, before being withdrawn at half time. Here, the left-handed role had gone to Holmgren, a tigerish battler who had performed in the central defensive role against the Bulgarians. It was a clever bit of thinking from Vakkila, as Holmgren would contribute strongly in denying the Soviet Union much space along the visitors’ right flank. From this side they would want right-back Bessonov to push forward to join wide midfielder Rodionov and possibly also striker Belanov in creating opportunities, but Holmgren’s presence just ahead of left-back Petäjä effectively dented the visitors’ wish to attack down this flank. On the Finnish right hand side of midfield was the diminutive Myyry, who clearly was better going forward than he was in his defensive work, but at right-back the home side had Hännikäinen, who was a capable player when focusing solely on defensive duties. Yet, it did appear easier for the visitors to gain territory down this side when attacking through left-back Demyanenko along with left-sided midfielder Rats and also attacking midfielder Zavarov, who would often be pushing out towards the left. Without a lot of movement among the strikers, at least not enough movement inside the Finnish penalty area, the USSR would still not create a lot from either flank.
Soviet playmaker Mikhaylichenko was probably the player demonstrating the greatest level of indifference among the visitors. He would usually be found inside the centre circle, by no means an unusual occurence for him, but here he was slow in his decision-making and also kept possession for too long, giving the home team a lot of time to organize at the back. In addition, the Kiev ace’s passing was hardly as accurate as it ought to be, and so his role in the game needed a bit of a kick up the backside. Mikhaylichenko looked lost for inspiration, but he wasn’t the only one. The lack of movement was often remarkable, even if you would see Belanov making runs to both the right and the left of the penalty area. Protasov, though, was easily dealt with by Lahtinen, as he hardly accelerated beyond jogging pace at all during the first half.
The second opportunity to arise also came the home team’s way. Alatensiö sought Lius on the edge of the penalty area with a clever pass from midfield, and despite the striker’s lack of quality during the opening half an hour, he turned well on the spot and took aim, seeing his effort blocked off Kuznetsov. The ball ricocheted into the path of Myyry, who was in a good position to have a go inside the Soviet area. However, he probably already saw the headlines in tomorrow’s Helsingin Sanomat, and he lost concentration as his effort came off his shin and disappointingly disappeared out for a goal kick. Yet, with half an hour on the clock, the home side had managed to restrict the visitors to a couple of harmless efforts from Mikhaylichenko and Belanov respectively.
A big Soviet Union feature was usually their inter-positional switches. Here, being pedestrian for almost the entire opening half, there was little to be seen of that. Perhaps were they missing their great mentor on the sidelines? Lobanovskiy had left his assistant Morozov in charge, and he could hardly be pleased with what he had seen. The centre circle belonged to Mikhaylichenko, and in rare moments where he sought further afield you would see Kuznetsov there, and even Bessonov could be seen distributing from central positions despite appearing in a right-back role. Then there would be Aleinikov displaying his swagger as he carried the ball forward, but on this occasion neither of this happened, apart from on one occasion or two. And when Aleinikov five minutes from the break decides to try and inject a bit of pace and cause a counting error among the home defenders through bringing the ball from the halfway line and deep inside Finnish territory, it is that Zavarov, back playing with his mates again having recently moved to Turin to feature for Juventus, eventually gets to the byline and can pick out Demyanenko who’s made a run to the far post. The Soviet captain easily ousts Myyry in the air, but inexplicably he places his header wide when he’s got a lot of Laukkanen’s goal to aim at. It really should have been a goal for the visitors.
A couple of minutes prior to Demyanenko’s chance, the away ‘keeper decided to have a bit of fun. Myyry had got inside the penalty area on the right hand side and tried to pick out Lius opposite, but his cross was too long. This had not stopped Chanov from trying to come and claim it, though he failed completely, and in trying to redeem himself he chose to track Lius as the forward was retreating outside the area with the ball. Unfortunately for the hosts, Lius was unable to turn and put the ball back into the danger area with Chanov way out of position, and eventually the USSR would clear. However, it was not the kind of judgement you would wish to see from your goalkeeper. Another couple of minutes prior to this, another ball from Lahtinen at the back had tried to reach Rantanen, but it only travelled as far as to Demyanenko, who rose above Myyry to head the ball into a dangerous area. Alatensiö picked it up a few yards outside the penalty area and had a go on his left foot, but he could not connect cleanly, and so the ball harmlessly went wide. All in all, the home side had been on equal terms with their famous visitors for most of the first half.
There had been one change at half time, with Finland bringing ‘Mixu’ Paatelainen on for the disappointing Lius. Paatelainen, plying his trade with one of the better Scottish clubs in Dundee United, who had indeed been in the UEFA Cup Final in ’87, prior to the Finn’s arrival at the club, was of a similar build as Rantanen, though not as tall but quicker. However, he was no mug in the air, and so Lahtinen now appeared to have two forwards at whom to aim at with his long balls from the back.
The visitors were unchanged, but clearly one could have hoped that Morozov had told them in no uncertain terms how they needed to up their game after the break? It was almost as if they were in a state of hangover following the summer’s events in West Germany. Yet Dinamo Kiev, with nine players in the starting Soviet eleven here if you include the recently departed Zavarov, had done alright on the domestic scene since the summer break. They had won three and drawn two since the 2-0 defeat to Holland, and so were not completely out of sorts. Still they could find little motivation to put on a show for the public in Turku, still meticulously going about their ways from the off in the second half. It did seem, though, as Kuznetsov had been told to come higher in the pitch, frequently appearing inside the Finnish half. He had once been on shooting distance during the first half, but had failed to take the opportunity. Again, six minutes after the restart, he finds himself within shooting range, and this time he has a go, only for his rather tame effort to be blocked by Europaeus. From the right hand side Rodionov, who also was one of the bleaker during the first half, would try to release himself from Holmgren’s grip by coming inside. Rodionov would leave Holmgren in a bit of disarray in doing so, and even open up space for Bessonov behind him to put a couple of deep crosses into the Finnish penalty area. Not that it caused much trouble per se, as there did not seem to be much of an improvement from the static Protasov. The number 10, though, would be presented with a rare opportunity after Belanov, again in a wide position to the right, had found Rats with a diagonal ball to the far side of the area. Rats had headed the ball towards Zavarov, who flicked it on for Protasov, whose header came off the ground and struck the bottom of Laukkanen’s right hand post before bouncing away to safety. This would be Protasov’s final bit of action, as the Soviet Union made their first substitution by bringing on wide midfielder Gotsmanov in his place.
The Soviet change meant that Rodionov, who had been more involved in the game in the opening of the second half, and also having seen a not too difficult shot from 20 yards comfortably saved by Laukkanen despite an awkward bounce right in front of the ‘keeper, would go up front alongside Belanov, with substitute Gotsmanov taking up Rodionov’s right hand position. This was Rodionov’s position with his club side Spartak Moscow, and Morozov would be hoping that the forward could cause more trouble with his movement than Protasov had done.
As has been mentioned, Alatensiö is at the helm of most of what the Finns create inside the Soviet half. 16 minutes into the second period, he sees Paatelainen make a run in behind the visitors’ defence, and Alatensiö, one of many fair haired home players, pins a pass through the centre for the striker to run onto. However, the ball’s hit with just an ounce too much pace, and so Chanov is able to get close to Paatelainen before the Dundee United man can get a proper shot away. This is better goalkeeping by Chanov, who had rushed quickly off his line as soon as he had sensed danger. The Soviet Union will eventually clear.
The home side make another substitution when Rantanen, who seems tired, comes off for Nikkilä, another beefy Finnish forward. However, it will soon be evident that Nikkilä does not have what it takes to be much of a threat at this level, and even if Rantanen has not been too heavily involved in the second half, it is a move which will make the home side inferior, even if they do have a few minutes of sustained possession inside the visitors’ half around the time of Nikkilä’s introduction. It will culminate with another Chanov action as the ‘keeper elects to punch the ball away after a long Lahtinen throw deep from the right hand side had been flicked on by Europaeus inside the area.
On the right hand side for Finland is Myyry, who belongs to 2nd Bundesliga club Meppen. Only 20, he is still a fledgling at international level, but he is not afraid of taking a man on, and he does possess more than just hard running. On one occasion he makes it past two men inside the Soviet half, and his trickeries raise the level of enthusiasm among the home fans for a while, as well as among his team mates. Even being faced with a full-back of such stature as visiting captain Demyanenko does not prevent Myyry from having a go.
On a rare foray deep into Finnish territory, Mikhaylichenko gains a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area having been brought down by Europaeus. However, to his left Belanov had been unmarked, and the striker with the receding hairline is livid at the blonde midfielder for not having even attempted to play him in. Neither of the two has been prolific so far, and it is clearly a sign of frustration from the forward when he demonstrates his great displeasure at not having been fed the ball. Before Rodionov proceeds to hit the free-kick straight into the defensive wall, Finland make their third substitution with midfielder Aaltonen replacing Alatensiö, who had also started to show signs of fatigue.
Aaltonen’s story is an interesting one. He had been a midfielder with TPS here in Turku until early in the year, when he had been signed by Italian and European giants Internazionale. TPS had quite sensationally beaten Inter 1-0 at San Siro in the first leg of their second round UEFA Cup clash, and Aaltonen had scored the only goal of the game with a screamer from distance. This had triggered Inter’s interest, and he would soon make the transfer. However, failing to impress in the early stages of his career in Italy, he had now been loaned out to Swiss top flight outfit Bellinzona. TPS, by the way, had not managed to go through despite winning the first leg against Inter away from home; the Italians had won the second leg 2-0 in Finland through goals from players the calibre of Scifo and Altobelli.
The Soviet Union make their second and, as it turns out, final substitution of the match when they take Rodionov off for defensive midfielder Zygmantovich. Morozov is trying to revitalise Mikhaylichenko by giving the number 7 a forward role, leaving Zygmantovich, a third Dinamo Minsk player now on the pitch, to take over at the rear of midfield. Rodionov had also been unable to make an impact during his few minutes up front. Could this lift the gloom off Mikhaylichenko’s shoulders?
There’s another late second half appearance, this time from the sun, as it tries to raise the spirit among the 22 players. The flurry of substitutions does not seem to have brought an improvement in the quality of play, but there’s no significant deterioration either. The game’s just stale. The Finns have played to their capacity, throwing themselves about and blocking efforts, winning most challenges inside their own half, and also at times threatened the Soviet defence. The visitors have looked laboured; complacent. Little has resembled the team which had reached the final of the European Championships only two months earlier. They had not been put to a lot of tests defensively, but down the other end they had hardly been a big threat to Laukkanen either, a few efforts apart.
Finland captain Pekonen has had a fine game as the home team’s midfield enforcer. He’s broken up play, he’s used his physique well, and he has generally made it an uncomfortable afternoon for the visitors’ midfielders. With less than ten minutes remaining, he gives away a free-kick a few yards outside his own penalty area, which proves to be the final effort on goal as Mikhaylichenko has the ball lifted up in the air to him from Aleinikov’s boot. However, his volleyed effort is as weak as his general play, and Laukkanen could save it without much bother. The sun has failed to lift the players; Aaltonen has not managed to replicate what he had done in the San Siro less than a year earlier. Still Finland can be fairly pleased to have held a strong opponent to a draw. Oh, and there had been time for a fourth home substitution five minutes from the end, with the athletic Kanerva replacing Holmgren to the left of midfield. Holmgren had been effective during the first half, but probably less so after the break, with the Soviet Union more reluctant to attack down their right hand side.
In a drab, lifeless match, the home side can be pleased to have kept a clean sheet against one of the current footballing powers, and so take with them some positives ahead of their qualification opener only two weeks later. There had been a few decent individual performances, and as a unit they had not given a whole lot away. From the visitors’ perspective, they should probably just forget about this match, the sooner, the better. They had a qualification inauguration of their own a fortnight later, and would need to raise their game in order to get a win from Reykjavík. This was the USSR at their most indifferent.
1 Laukkanen 6.7
2 Hännikäinen 6.6
3 Holmgren 6.8
(17 Kanerva -)
4 Petäjä 6.7
5 Pekonen 7.0
6 Europaeus 6.9
7 Lahtinen 6.9
8 Myyry 6.9
9 Alatensiö 7.1
(14 Aaltonen -)
10 Rantanen 6.7
(15 Nikkilä 5.9)
11 Lius 6.2
(16 Paatelainen 6.5)
1 Chanov 6.5
2 Bessonov 6.7
3 Aleinikov 6.9
4 Kuznetsov 6.7
5 Demyanenko 6.8
6 Rats 6.6
7 Mikhaylichenko 6.2
8 Rodionov 6.6
(12 Zygmantovich -)
9 Zavarov 6.7
10 Protasov 6.2
(14 Gotsmanov 6.4)
11 Belanov 6.3