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Montenegro-Russia qualifier resumes after suspension

Montenegro vs. Russia qualifier resumes after suspension when flare hits goalkeeper in head

Montenegro-Russia qualifier resumes after suspension

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) -- A European championship qualifying match between Montenegro and Russia has been resumed following a suspension after Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit by a flare thrown from the stands.

Akinfeev was struck on the head by the flare approximately 20 seconds after kickoff and was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

The match was suspended and the players led off the field. Approximately 30 minutes after the incident, a stadium announcement said that the match would be resumed and players emerged. After a few minutes of warming up, play resumed.

Akinfeev was replaced by substitute goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin.

Russian TV reported, citing a spokesman for the Russian team, that Akinfeev had been examined by medical staff and would be taken to a hospital for further checks.

The flare struck Akinfeev from behind shortly after kickoff, having been thrown from a sector of the stadium occupied by Montenegro's hardcore supporters. The goalkeeper collapsed to the ground and was treated immediately by medical staff.

Russia and Montenegro are third and fourth respectively in Group G, both with five points from four games.

It is the first time that Russia and Montenegro have played against each another.

It is not the first case of severe crowd trouble during a Euro 2016 qualifier. Last year, a match between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone carrying a political banner was flown into the stadium.

A Serbia player pulled the banner down and Albanian players tried to protect it. In the resulting disorder, Serbian fans attacked Albania players. Both teams were punished over the incident.

Updated : 2021-09-27 00:17 GMT+08:00