Russia 2-0 Morocco: Capello's men cruise to victory in
final World Cup warm-up
Vasili Berezutski and Yuri Zhirkov got the goals as the hosts, who
were held to a draw by Norway last weekend, ensured that they will head
for Brazil on a high
Russia rounded off their World Cup preparations with a comfortable 2-0
victory over Morocco in Moscow on Friday evening.
Fabio Capello criticised his forwards after their profligacy in last weekend's
1-1 draw with Norway and they failed to find the net once again.
However, defender Vasili Berezutski opened the scoring for the hosts just
before the half hour and winger Yuri Zhirkov put the game beyond Morocco
in the 58th minute.
Russia were again without injured captain Roman Shirokov, whose World
Cup appears to be in serious doubt and Capello may be left sweating on
the fitness of Denis Glushakov, who was withdrawn from the squad and replaced
in midfield by Igor Denisov after suffering an injury in the warm-up.
The hosts will now travel to Brazil for the World Cup, where they are
likely to face much tougher tests in Group H clashes with South Korea,
Belgium and Algeria.
It took 23 minutes for the game's opening chance to arrive, but that almost
brought the first goal as Omar El Kaddouri struck the post with a low
effort following neat build-up play from the visitors.
That scare seemed to spark Russia into life and they would have taken
the lead had Aleksandr Kokorin been able to connect with Zhirkov's deflected
delivery across the face of goal.
But the deadlock was then broken in the 29th minute, the hosts going ahead
when Berezutski smashed home at the second attempt from a corner following
some pinball in the area.
Russia’s advantage would have been doubled a minute before half-time if
not for the fine reflexes of Morocco goalkeeper Karim Fegrouche, who produced
a fine stop to deny Kokorin on the half-volley.
However, Fegrouche could do nothing to prevent Russia from all but ensuring
victory 13 minutes into the second half as Zhirkov found the net in spectacular
The Dinamo Moscow midfielder met a clearance from a corner with a fierce
volley from just outside the area to put Capello's men in complete command.
From there, Russia were able to take their foot off the gas, although
the hosts were given a scare when Morocco midfielder Mounir Obbadi drew
a fine save from replacement keeper Yuri Lodigin.
But that proved to Morocco's last clear-cut opportunity as Russia easily
held on for a win that should give them confidence ahead of their World
Cup opener against South Korea on June 17.
Russia 2-0 Morocco
June 6, 2014
Stadion Lokomotiv, Moskva
Referee: P. Kralovec (Czech Rep.)
Russia: I. Akinfeev (Y. Lodygin, 46'), A. Eshchenko, V. Berezutski (c),
S. Ignashevich (V. Granat, 46'), G. Schennikov (D. Kombarov, 46'; A. Kozlov,
76'), I. Denisov, O. Shatov, V. Faizulin (A. Dzagoev, 46'), A. Samedov,
Y. Zhirkov, A. Kokorin (A. Kerzhakov, 57').
Manager: F. Capello
Ìàðîêêî: K. Fegrouche, Z. El Hachimi, Manuel da Costa, I. El Adoua (I.
Erraki, 63'), A. Lazaar, A. Chahechouhe (M. Carcela, 62'), M. Obbadi,
Z. Feddal, M. Boussoufa (c) (Y. Belhanda, 82'), O. El Kaddouri (M. Moutouali,
90+1'), . Hamdallah (Y. El-Arabi, 76').
Manager: E. Badou
Ãîëû: V. Berezutski (29'), Y. Zhirkov (58')