Russia beats Bulgaria 1-0 in Advocaat's debut
By Dmitry Lovetsky
Russia's Andrey Arshavin, left, fights for
the ball with Bulgaria's Chavdar Yankov during the international
friendly soccer match in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Aug.
11, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
New Russia coach Dick Advocaat enjoyed a winning debut Wednesday
after a close-range volley from Roman Shirokov secured a 1-0 win over
Bulgaria in a friendly.
Shirokov scored with an acrobatic volley in the sixth minute after goalkeeper
Nikolai Mikhailov fumbled a cross from Andrei Arshavin in the bright sunshine.
Advocaat selected an attacking and experienced lineup for his first game
since taking charge in May, opting for three forwards and no newcomers.
He had said the Bulgaria game was no time for experimenting, as it was
his only warmup match before the start of 2012 European Championship qualifying
on Sept. 3. Russia travels to Andorra on Sept. 3 and hosts Slovakia four
The match, which was moved to St. Petersburg's Petrovsky stadium from
Moscow because of wildfires around the capital, opened up in the last
30 minutes when both sides squandered clear-cut chances.
Last year, Advocaat ended a successful three-year reign as coach of Zenit
St. Petersburg, which plays at Petrovsky stadium. The Dutchman took over
as Russia coach from countryman Guus Hiddink in May.
Bulgaria came close on two occasions, with substitute Martin Kamburov
glancing a header wide and Dimitar Rangelov's low shot being smothered
by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev.
Arshavin played 80 minutes and showed flashes of skill, turning a defender
in the 52nd before shooting straight at Mikhailov, who made a similar
save a minute later from second-half substitute Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
Promising young CSKA forward Alan Dzagoyev danced through the Bulgarian
defense in the 73rd, only to be tackled before he could get a shot away.
Tottenham's Roman Pavlyuchenko, also on a substitute, slammed the rebound
at the goalkeeper.
Pavlyuchenko and Bilyaletdinov had further shots blocked as the visitors
tired late on.
Russia: Igor Akinfeyev, Alexander Anyukov (Denis Kolodin, 46), Vasily
Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Yury Zhirkov (Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, 46),
Igor Semshov, Roman Shirokov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Pavel Pogrebnyak (Roman
Pavlyuchenko, 46), Andrei Arshavin (Dmitry Sychev, 80), Dmitry Torbinsky
(Alan Dzagoyev, 70).
Bulgaria: Nikolai Mikhailov, Ilyan Stoyanov, Stanislav Angelov (Stanislav
Genchev, 61), Chavdar Yankov (Nikolai Dmitrov, 85), Valery Bozhinov (Dimitar
Rangelov, 46), Stanislav Manolin, Zhivko Milanov, Martin Petrov (Ilian
Micanski, 76), Ivan Ivanov, Stilian Petrov (Zakhari Sirakov, 89), Ivelin
Popov (Martin Kamburov, 55).
Russia 1 - 0 Bulgaria
11th Aug 2010
Ground: Petrovski Stadium