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Pogrebnyak at the double

Pavel Pogrebnyak celebrates the first of his two goals. (GettyImages)

Russia were indebted to Pavel Pogrebnyak as the striker's double got their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign off to a winning start in Andorra.

A strong start saw the eastern Europeans take a 14th-minute lead with a well-worked goal. However, Andorra succeeded in roughing their opponents up at the Estadi Comunal and it was not until the 64th minute that Russia secured some breathing space through Pogrebniak's penalty.

Russia started brightly, with Andrei Arshavin in the thick of the action. In the sixth minute he tested Andorra goalkeeper Jose Antonio Gomes who made the save comfortably.

Having dispensed with their recently-favoured short passing game, the visitors were getting the ball forward directly when possible and the opening goal came promptly in the 14th minute. Konstantin Zyryanov won the ball well and fed Arshavin, the playmaker then cleverly finding Pogrebniak.

The striker beat his man before firing hard and low from the left side of the penalty area to break the early deadlock.

Arshavin had a chance five minutes later but Gomes saved well. Andorra tried to claw their way back into the game while breaking up Russia's advances at any cost - and received three yellow cards midway through the half for cynical fouls in the middle of the pitch.

Arshavin continued to threaten, collecting Zyryanov's pass but shooting wide. Pogrebnyak then skilfully evaded two defenders and crossed for Arshavin but again Gomes made the save.

Shortly before half-time Sergio Moreno had a chance for Andorra, from inside the area, but failed to connect cleanly with his shot and Igor Akinfeev collected easily.

The game petered out until around the hour mark, Russia dominating but failing to really threaten.

Alan Dzagoev, on as a substitute, was found by Arshavin but was denied by illegally Gomes inside the box.

Pogrebnyak converted the penalty calmly to ease Russia's nerves. Pogrebnyak missed a chance for his hat-trick before Arshavin, Igor Semshov and Dzagoev all went close while Andorra were limited to long-range punts., September 3, 2010

Andorra 0 - 2 Russia

Scoring Summary
Pavel Pogrebniak (14)
Pavel Pogrebniak (pen 64)

Match Information
Stadium: Estadi Comunal de Aixovall
Attendance: 1800
Match Time: 17:30 BST
Official(s): Marco Borg (Referee)

Andorra Russia
1 Josep Anton Moreira Gomez 1 Igor Akinfeev
6 Ildefons Sola Lima 4 Sergei Ignashevich
3 Marc Cano Bernaus 3 Vasili Berezutsky
16 Christian Jorge Martinez Muoz 2 Aleksandr Aniukov
2 Jordi Rubio 8 Konstatin Zurianov
18 Josep Manuel Ayala 6 Igor Semshov
7 Marc Pujol 5 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
9 Sebastia Gomez 11 Vladimir Bystrov
5 Fernando Silva 7 Roman Shirokov
11 Sergi Marin Moreno 10 Andrei Arshavin
8 Marcio Vieira 9 Pavel Pogrebniak
13 Ferran Poli Vladimir Gabulov 12
4 Oscar Mansad Sonejee Alexei Berezutsky 14
10 Manolo Jimenez Dmitri Torbinsky 19
15 Jordi Escura Alan Dzagoev 17
14 Daniel Mejias Dmitri Sychev 15
17 Ivan Lorenzo Roman Pavlyuchenko 18
12 Xavier Andorra Alan Kasaev 16
Ivan Lorenzo for Jordi Rubio (58)
Alan Dzagoev for Vladimir Bystrov (60)
Manolo Jimenez for Sergi Marin Moreno (75)
Roman Pavlyuchenko for Pavel Pogrebniak (85)
Daniel Mejias for Marc Pujol (88)
Yellow Cards
Josep Manuel Ayala (20)
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (75)
Ildefons Sola Lima (25)
Marc Pujol (27)
Christian Jorge Martinez Muoz (65)

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