Marek Hamšík set up one and scored another as Ján Kozák’s men slipped from their opponents’ clutches, surviving a late siege to get three points.

Marek Hamšík set up the first and scored the second as Slovakia shook off their opening-day disappointment, and handed sluggish Russia a finishing lesson in Group B.

An initial flurry of activity having been swatted away stern-faced by a solid-looking Russian defence, Slovakia were starting to creak ominously when Hamšík delivered a wondrous pass from midfield to Weiss; he took three quick touches, wrong-footing two Russian defenders, and swung a shot across Igor Akinfeev and inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.

If that was hard on Russia, what happened next was harder, Hamšík receiving Weiss’s short corner from the left and winging a powerful shot in off the upright. Half-time: 2-0. Slovakia’s shots-on-goal count: two.

Marek Hamšík put in a man of the match display to help guide Slovakia to victory, with a goal and an assist. He completed 41 of 52 passes, managed three shots and two dribbles. He also contributed defensively in the second half with six blocks or tackles. He rises 14 places to second overall behind only Dimitri Payet..( Picture Courtesy -UEFA) 

Two half-time changes retooled Russia into more outwardly aggressive side, Artem Dzyuba the sapper detailed with undermining Slovakia’s defences. However, it was substute Denis Glushakov who headed in from Igor Shatov’s cross to prompt a frenzied finale. Slovakia held on, but only just.

Man of the match: Marek Hamšík

Anyone doubting how to pronounce the Napoli playmaker’s name need only listen to the Slovak fans, who rarely tired of singing it in Lille. Slovakia are not quite a one-man team, but the No17’s ability to weight passes (as well as score goals) suggested time was passing much slower for him than for anyone else on the pitch.

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Report courtesy to UEFA Euro Release