NICOSIA (Reuters) – Russia booked their place in next year’s European Championship finals with a comprehensive 5-0 win over 10-man Cyprus away in Nicosia on Sunday.
Russia are the third team to qualify for the 24-team tournament, following Group I rivals Belgium and Italy from Group J.
The Russians needed only draw to ensure a top two finish and qualification but an early strike from Denis Cheryshev set them on their way to a their seventh victory in eight qualification games.
The Valencia winger then turned provider as he set up Magomed Ozdoev for the second goal in the 23rd minute.
Artem Dyzuba made it 3-0 and Aleksandr Golovin added a fourth with two minutes to play.
Cheryshev finished off the victory with the last shot of the game.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)