Montenegro boss Branko Brnovic has claimed that the behaviour of his side’s fans will have major implications, and could cost them a place at Euro 2016, reports Goal.com.
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The Group G clash between Brnovic’s men and Fabio Capello’s Russia was marred by unsavoury incidents, and resulted in the referee, Deniz Aytekin suspending the match twice, before abandoning the fixture midway through the second half.
The 47-year-old suggested that this may end their hopes of qualifying for the tournament.
“My players are demoralised, none of them know what to say. Even I don’t know what to say.
“Now we’ve lost all chance to qualify and we will play in front of an empty stadium in our upcoming home games,” Brnovic said.
Before the game, the two sides were locked on five points, with Russia occupying the play-off spot in the group due to a superior goal difference. After the top-two Sweden and Austria both won, they now sit four points behind an automatic qualification spot.
The game in Podgorica took a turn for the worse within the opening seconds, as the away side’s goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev was struck on the head by a flare thrown from the crowd. Aytekin took the players off for a stoppage that took half an hour, while the officials and delegates deliberated over whether to continue in the hostile atmosphere.
Proceedings did resume – without Akinfeev, who was stretchered off and taken to hospital – and passed without note until the second half, when Russia were awarded a contentious spot-kick.
And while the penalty was saved, the anger over the decision still boiled over. Both players and backroom staff, as well as supporters became embroiled in brawls. Once again, the official halted the game, before subsequently announcing that the fixture would not continue.
The two are scheduled to meet again during the final round of qualifying on October 12th.