Russia's young stars had been urged to "learn fast" by their coach Guus Hiddink and they came of age in Salzburg as Konstantin Zyryanov's solitary goal earned them a 1-0 win against Greece, thus ending Otto Rehhagel's team's reign as kings of Europe.
Group D - Matchday 2
GREECE 0-1 RUSSIA
Wals-Siezenheim Stadion, Salzburg
Russia beat Greece to send the holders crashing out of Euro 2008 and set up a deciding final game against Sweden for a place in the quarter-finals. Konstatin Zyryanov scored the winner from close range in the 34th minute after Sergei Semak cashed in on Greek keeper Antonis Nikopolidis's mistake. Angelos Charisteas wasted Greece's best chances either side of the interval. Roman Pavlyuchenko could have added to Russia's tally but their win sent Spain into the last eight.
Sweden will be slight favourites to advance as they only need a draw in Innsbruck on Wednesday to go through from the group stages - but Russia's confidence will be high after they rediscovered the form that led to them edging out England for a place in the tournament.
Greece: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis (Karagounis 40), Dellas, Kyrgiakos, Torosidis, Katsouranis, Basinas, Patsatzoglou, Charisteas, Liberopoulos (Gekas 60), Amanatidis (Giannakopoulos 79).
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Kolodin, Ignashevich, Zhirkov (Vasili Berezutsky 87), Semak, Torbinsky, Zyryanov, Semshov, Bilyaletdinov (Saenko 69), Pavluchenko.
[Euro 2008 Group D]