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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Luzhniki Stadium (ATT 75,000) 12th October 2012 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: V Kassai

Russia Russia vs Portugal Portugal

Russia 1

A Kerzhakov (6)

ft

Kerzhakov strike sinks Portugal

Russia claim crucial Group F victory in Moscow

Last Updated: 12/10/12 6:28pm

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Alexander Kerzhakov: Early goal proved enough for Russia to defeat Portugal

Alexander Kerzhakov: Early goal proved enough for Russia to defeat Portugal

Alexander Kerzhakov's early strike proved the difference as Russia edged out Portugal in their World Cup Group F qualifier in Moscow.

Kerzhakov's smart finish made it three wins from three at the start of Russia's Group F campaign, while defeat for Portugal ends their 100 per cent start and leaves them trailing Fabio Capello's men by three points.

Russia will fancy their chances of maintaining their perfect start when they play host to Azerbaijan on Tuesday, while on the same night Portugal will bid to get back to winning ways when they welcome Northern Ireland.

Just six minutes were on the clock when the home side went ahead at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Roman Shirokov was the architect as he ran on to a pass from Viktor Faitzulin and delivered a superb first-time through-ball that Kerzhakov collected before lifting his finish over the advancing Rui Patricio.

The early goal sparked an immediate response from the visitors, with Cristiano Ronaldo forcing a good save from Igor Akinfeev in the 10th minute before Helder Postiga headed over from the resulting corner.

With 14 minutes gone Portugal attacked again, this time Bruno Alves turning a powerful header on target from a Miguel Veloso free-kick but Akinfeev was again on hand to make the save.

Pressure

Despite that brief spell of pressure Portugal were unable to create any clear-cut chances for the remainder of the first period, and as the second half went on their frustration increased.

The mood of the Portuguese camp was not improved when Ronaldo went down clutching his face following an off-the-ball tangle with Aleksandr Aniukov on the edge of the Russian box just before the hour.

Referee Viktor Kassai was unimpressed with the Real Madrid man's typically theatrical reaction to the contact and waved Ronaldo to his feet.

Akinfeev kept Russia's lead intact with another save from a Postiga in the 63rd minute, while a short time later Ronaldo blazed an effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

Although Portugal needed to find a goal it was the hosts who finished on the front foot, with Shirokov going close to adding a second in the 73rd minute when he fired a low shot at Patricio.

And with 82 minutes gone Portugal we indebted to Patricio for keeping the deficit at one goal as he pulled off a superb parry from Aleksandr Kokorin's fierce effort from the edge of the box.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 12th Oct - Group F
    Fri 12th Oct - Group I
    Fri 12th Oct - Group B
    Fri 12th Oct - Group C
    • Faroe Islands
      1 - 2
      Sweden
      bet
      TV
    • Kazakhstan
      0 - 0
      Austria
      bet
      TV
    • Rep Ireland
      1 - 6
      Germany
      bet
      TV
    Fri 12th Oct - Group E
    Fri 12th Oct - Group G
    • Liechtenstein
      0 - 2
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      0 - 0
      Bos & Herz
      bet
      TV
    Fri 12th Oct - Group D
    Fri 12th Oct - Group H
    Fri 12th Oct - Group A

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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