World Cup qualifier: Russia beat Israel 3-1 in St Petersburg
Last Updated: 10/09/13 6:33pm
Denis Glushakov: On the mark for Russia
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 Samedov.
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.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 10th Sep - Group F
Russia3 - 1Israel
Luxembourg3 - 2N Ireland
Tue 10th Sep - Group G
Lithuania2 - 0Liechtenstein
Slovakia1 - 2Bos & Herz
Greece1 - 0Latvia
Tue 10th Sep - Group B
Armenia0 - 1Denmark
Malta1 - 2Bulgaria
Italy2 - 1Czech Rep
Tue 10th Sep - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 1Sweden
Austria1 - 0Rep Ireland
Faroe Islands0 - 3Germany
Tue 10th Sep - Group E
Norway0 - 2Switzerland
Cyprus0 - 2Slovenia
Iceland2 - 1Albania
Tue 10th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Finland
Belarus2 - 4France
Tue 10th Sep - Group D
Romania0 - 2Turkey
Andorra0 - 2Holland
Hungary5 - 1Estonia
Tue 10th Sep - Group A
Macedonia1 - 2Scotland
Wales0 - 3Serbia
Tue 10th Sep - Group H
San Marino1 - 5Poland
Ukraine0 - 0England
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
|1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||25|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I