Moscow, June 6 (IANS) Russia was held 1-1 by Turkey in the hosts’ final friendly before their June 14 FIFA World Cup opener here against Saudi Arabia.
Against a Turkish side that failed to qualify for the quadrennial tournament, the Russians on Tuesday delivered a performance unlikely to reassure coach Stanislav Cherchesov or their supporters, reports Efe.
The World Cup host nation heads into the competition winless in their last seven matches.
In a dull first half, Russia’s only moment of quality came in the 32nd minute, when Alan Dzagoev exploited a Turkish giveaway to set up a goal by Aleksandr Samedov.
Turkey were not much better, mustering only two shots on goal for the entire match, but one of them, a strike from 25 yards by Yunus Malli in the 59th minute, was enough to level the contest at 1-1.
Drawn in Group A with Uruguay, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Russia’s best hope of advancing to the round of 16 is thought to lie in besting the Egyptians for second place, as the South American side is expected to win the group.