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RUSSIA - BRAZIL - 0:1 (0:1)
March 01 2006.
Moscow. Lokomotiv Stadium. 19000.
Friendly Match.
Referee: Massimo Busacca (SUI).
Brazil: Rogerio Ceni, Cicinho, Lucio, Juan (Cris, 46), Roberto Carlos (c) (Gustavo Nery, 64), Emerson (Gilberto Silva, 73), Ze Roberto, Ricardinho (Edmilson, 73), Kaka (Juninho Pernambucano, 73), Ronaldo (Fred, 63), Adriano.
Head Coach - Carlos Alberto Parreira.
Russia: Akinfeev, A. Berezutski, Anyukov, Ignashevich, V. Berezutski, Aldonin, Zhirkov, Smertin (c), Arshavin, Loskov (Bilyaletdinov, 65), Kerzhakov.
Head Coach - Alexander Borodiuk.
Scorer: Ronaldo (14).


Under the guidance of caretaker manager Aleksandr Borodyuk, Russia began their 2006 international campaign with a 1-0 defeat to world champions Brazil in Moscow.

The Russian FA had reportedly paid the Brazilians £900,000 to take part in the match, and except for the injured Ronaldinho, coach Carlos Antonio Pereira fielded a full-strength side.

Brazil’s Ronaldo / Photo: AP

The cold weather and difficult pitch did not perturb the Brazilians, who opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a curious goal by Ronaldo.

Roberto Carlos, 35 yards from goal and given far too much space, lined up a shot that ricocheted off his Real Madrid team-mate, completely wrong footing Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and bouncing into the corner of the net.

The ball clearly hit Ronaldo on his left arm, and there was a sense of bewilderment amongst both sets of players as well as the silenced crowd as Swiss referee Massimo Busacca signalled that the goal would stand.

Brazil should have doubled their advantage after 34 minutes when a ball from the right by Cicinho found Internazionale striker Adriano, who burst into the box only for his powerful close-range shot to be turned round the post by Akinfeev.

Despite some spirited attacking play from the Russians, Brazil continued to keep control of the game and Ronaldo tested Akinfeev again after 39 minutes, with the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper saving low to his right.

In spite of Brazil's superiority, the Russians almost equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov was set free on the right side of the field and hit a fine first-time shot that beat Brazil goalkeeper Rogerio only to come back off the underside of the crossbar.

The second half began brightly with both goalkeepers tested regularly from range, the best strike coming from Russian midfielder Aleksandr Anyukov, who met Dmitri Loskov's low cross with a bullet strike from the edge of the box that missed Rogerio's left-hand post by a whisker.

As expected, the Brazilians made a number of substitutions in the second half, with both Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos removed from play after 64 minutes.

The Russians, playing in their new red strip, now looked the better side, and let a good chance go begging after 60 minutes when Kerzhakov failed to connect cleanly with a dangerous cross from Loskov.

After 74 minutes Anyukov broke clear of the Brazil defence and drilled a cross low into the box. CSKA Moscow defender Vasili Berezutsky supplied the finish, only for Rogerio to somehow keep out the defender's close-range shot.

The Russians deserved an equaliser and almost got it after 84 minutes when Andrei Arshavin got clear of the defence, heading the ball round the goalkeeper and laying the ball back to Kerzhakov, only for his shot to be cleared off the line by Brazilian substitute Gustavo Neri.

Yahoo Sport, 01 Mar 2006

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