Russia coach Guus Hiddink hailed his side’s performance after their 3-1 Euro 2008 quarter-final extra time win over Holland.
“I don’t want to use big words but it is almost a miracle,” said Hiddink after knocking out his home nation.
“I’m so proud of these guys. Physically, technically and tactically we outplayed the Dutch and it is a huge achievement for us.
“It’s amazing to see how fast they react to the technical concept.”
Roman Pavlyuchenko put Russia ahead only for Ruud van Nistelrooy to level late on to take the game into extra time. But Dmitri Torbinski and Andrei Arshavin secured the win for Hiddink’s side.
Arshavin put in an outstanding performance and, while Hiddink praised his star man, he was also happy to pay tribute to the Russia team.
“Arshavin did very well but needs assist of other ones,” he said. “But he did a big job.
“He has tremendous skills. He knows how to dribble in defence. Defenders can run with him but they cannot really attack him. It is what nature gave him.”
Russia restricted Holland to few opportunities during open play, with the main threat from the Dutch coming from set-pieces.
“The Dutch were just dangerous at set pieces and it was a blow to concede the equaliser but more of an achievement after conceding this goal,” added Hiddink.
“In extra time I told the players to go and look forward for a goal as they as tired as we are. I also told them to have mental strength and they responded perfectly.
“We did not talk a lot about it in the preview of the game but we had just two days to recover and prepare after a tough Sweden match.”