Akinfeev returns in drab draw
Russia held on the road, but keeper makes comeback
Last Updated: 29/05/12 10:15pm
Igor Akinfeev: Timely return to action
Russia were held to an uninspiring 0-0 draw by Lithuania in their latest pre-Euro 2012 friendly, but were handed a timely boost by Igor Akinfeev.
The CSKA Moscow keeper made a successful return to the international stage after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in August 2011.
He was back in action for his club in April, but doubts remained regarding his participation at this summer's European Championship.
Akinfeev showed no signs of rustiness in midweek, though, and is firmly back in Dick Advocaat's thoughts.
He was almost caught out inside the opening two minutes, as Deividas Cesnauskis crashed a shot against the crossbar, and he was called into action moments later as he flung himself into the path of Darvydas Sernas' powerful drive.
A frantic opening to the contest also saw Russia hit the woodwork, with Ernestas Setkus tipping a misdirected looping clearance onto his own crossbar with just 35 seconds on the clock.
Unfortunately for those in attendance, a bright start to proceedings was not a sign of things to come.
Russia created little in the final third, although skipper Andrey Arshavin went close with an angled volley and Aleksandr Kerzhakov struck the post when forced wide.
The tempo of the game barely lifted after the interval, and Lithuania wasted a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock when Ramunas Radavicius burst clear on goal only to fire high over the top.
The final action of note arrived in the 76th minute when Akinfeev pulled off a smart double save, parrying a 30-yard free-kick from Radavicius and smothering the rebound from Sernas.