World Cup qualifier: Russia beat Israel 3-1 in St Petersburg
Fabio Capello's Russia took a big step towards securing their place at
next year's World Cup finals in Brazil after a strong second half show
saw off Israel in their Group F clash in St Petersburg.
Goals from Vasili Berezutski, Alexander Kokorin and Denis Glushakov gave
the hosts a 3-1 win and restored their single-point lead at the top of
the group over key rivals Portugal.
Capello's men now need to take maximum points from their last two games
away to group minnows Luxembourg and Azerbaijan next month in order to
seal automatic qualification.
The hosts had looked nervous in a tight first period in which solid Israeli
defending looked to keep alive their own slim hopes of muscling in on
a top two place.
Zenit St Petersburg striker Roman Shirokov came close twice in the early
stages on his home ground, but there was frustration among his team-mates
as the first half ended goalless.
Russian pressure finally eased five minutes into the second half when
lanky defender Berezutski rose highest to head home a Shirokov cross and
net the opener.
And Russia had doubled their lead within two minutes after Kokorin steered
a right-foot shot into the top corner after being set up by Alexander
Russia secured victory in the 74th minute with a third goal but only after
Israeli keeper Dudu Aouate had denied Shirokov from the spot.
Awarded a penalty after Eran Zehavi handled Alan Dzagoev's flick in the
box, Shirokov saw his shot superbly tipped onto the post by Aouate - only
for Glushakov to react fastest and steer the rebound home.
Israel grabbed a consolation for the visitors in injury time when a cross
from Ofir Davidadze struck the shoulder of Eran Zehavi and deflected past
Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev.
10th September 2013
Stadion Petrovski - St Petersburg. Attendance: 21500
Referee: Manuel Graefe (GER)
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Aleksei Kozlov, Vasili Berezutski, Sergei Ignashevich,
Dmitri Kombarov, Igor Denisov (c) (Denis Glushakov, 46), Viktor Fayzulin
(Alan Dzagoev, 46), Roman Shirokov, Aleksandr Samedov, Aleksandr Kerzhakov,
Aleksandr Kokorin (Vladimir Bystrov, 77).
Coach: Fabio Capello (ITA)
Israel: Dudu Aouate (c), Dekel Keinan, Tal Ben Haim, Ofir Davidzada, Sheran
Yeini, Gal Alberman (Maharan Radi, 70), Bebras Natcho, Lior Refaelov,
Maor Melikson (Hen Ezra, 46), Eran Zahavi, Elyaniv Barda (Etey Shechter,
Coach: Eli Guttman (ISR)
Goals: V. Berezutski 50, Kokorin 52, Glushakov 74, Zahavi 90+3
Booked: D. Kombarov 20, Aouate 36, Ignashevich 38, Davidzada 41