Russia were indebted to Pavel Pogrebnyak as the striker's
double got their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign off to a winning start
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
Pavel Pogrebniak (14)
Pavel Pogrebniak (pen 64)
Stadium: Estadi Comunal de Aixovall
Match Time: 17:30 BST
Official(s): Marco Borg (Referee)
|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 Muñoz
||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)
|Josep Manuel Ayala (20)
|Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (75)
|Ildefons Sola Lima (25)
|Marc Pujol (27)
|Christian Jorge Martinez Muñoz (65)