Russia held by Kazakhstan

2015-03-31 22:01
Russia boss Fabio Capello (AP)
Russia boss Fabio Capello (AP)

Moscow - An experimental Russia side were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Kazakhstan in a friendly at the Khimki Arena just outside Moscow on Tuesday.

The hosts created little and their Central Asian opponents could have claimed an unlikely victory with better finishing.

Russia coach Fabio Capello handed debuts to defender Ivan Novoseltsev and midfielder Ruslan Kambolov as the Italian changed his entire starting 11 from the team that played in the abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier away to Montenegro on Friday.

Only a few thousand fans braved the freezing conditions to see the home side face a team managed by Yuri Kraznozhan, who had a long club coaching career in Russia before taking over as Kazakhstan boss in February 2014.

Chances were few and far between in the first half.

Alexander Samedov was closest to breaking the deadlock after 27 minutes when his fierce free kick forced an excellent save from Stanislav Pokatilov, who tipped the ball on to the post.

Despite enjoying the majority of possession, Capello's side looked devoid of ideas as they struggled to make chances against a side ranked 138 in the world compared to Russia's 33rd spot.

Russia goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin was lucky to escape a red card a minute after halftime when he handled a shot outside his area. Samat Smakov hit the resulting free kick into the wall.

Kazakhstan should have scored just before the hour when Islamkhan Bauyrzhan broke free down the right and put in a perfect cross but nobody managed to get on the end of it.

Capello's frustration was clear for all to see on the touchline and whistles could be heard inside the Arena Khimki.

The introduction of 20-year-old debutant Denis Davydov injected some life into the Russia side with the Spartak Moscow forward posing a threat and not looking out of place.

Russia failed to test Pokatilov in the closing stages as Kazakhstan easily held on for a deserved draw against their more illustrious neighbours as whistles greeted the final whistle.

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Russia and Montenegro after their Euro 2016 qualifier in Podgorica was abandoned in the second half following crowd trouble, including the throwing of firweorks, and a scuffle among the players.

Read more on:    fabio capello  |  soccer

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