International friendlies round-up: Russia's winless streak extended with Turkey draw
Last Updated: 05/06/18 9:34pm
Russia extended their winless streak to seven matches with a 1-1 home draw against Turkey on Tuesday in their last warm-up game just nine days before the World Cup kick-off.
Wolfsburg midfielder Yunus Malli came off the bench at half-time to cancel out Spartak Moscow right winger Alexander Samedov's 35th minute opener and deny Russia a first win in eight months.
Turkey, who are rebuilding after failing to make it into the World Cup finals in Russia, started in a lively fashion seeking an early opener but failed to create any serious threat in the opening quarter-hour.
Russia, spurred by the capacity 30,000 crowd at VTB Arena, CSKA Moscow's home ground, soon took over the initiative pinning the visitors back but Turkey defended stoutly stifling the hosts' attacks into poorly targeted crosses.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when they intercepted the ball just outside the visitors area and CSKA playmaker Alan Dzagoev found Samedov in the area and he kept his cool to send the ball into the net with an angled close-range shot.
After the break, Mircea Lucescu's side poured forwards in attack in search of an equaliser and Malli pulled the scores level beating Russian 'keeper Igor Akinfeev with a low shot from 25 yards out just before the hour mark.
Krasnodar forward Fyodor Smolov, Russia's top scorer in 2016-17 and second this year, missed a chance to restore the hosts lead in the 72nd minute when he sent the ball just inches wide of the right post with a 12-yard shot.
Russia now have five wins, six draws and 10 defeats since Stanislav Cherchesov took over in August 2016 and kick off their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14 and also face Egypt on June 19 and Uruguay in on June 25.
Romania extended their winning run in international fixtures to four games as they beat Finland 2-0 in a friendly match.
Cristian Manea opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a long range strike before Ciprian Deac added the second just after the hour mark to seal the victory for the hosts.
Elsewhere, Luxembourg also picked up a 1-0 friendly win against Georgia, with Aurelien Joachim netting the only goal of the game in the 69th minute.