Russia held by Qatar to 1-1 in friendly
Russia’s poor season was extended by Qatar in a 1-1 draw on
Tuesday in a friendly celebrating the future World Cup hosts.
Former Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac had more to cheer in his first
outing as Qatar coach, as his side opened the scoring before 9,500
at Al Sadd Stadium.
Russia lost its two previous friendlies against Belgium and Iran
and looked on course to losing a third straight.
After being held goalless by Armenia last weekend in Euro 2012
qualifying, Russia was down a goal after only four minutes in Doha
thanks to Mohamed Kasoula.
Qatar skipper Sebastian Soria had a chance to double the lead
moments later but missed an easy shot.
Russia equalized in the 33rd when captain Andrey Arshavin surged
from midfield and set up Roman Pavlyuchenko to tap in his side’s
first goal in four matches and 385 minutes.
The last time Russia scored was Alexander Kerzhakov’s
eighth-minute winner in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Macedonia on Oct.
After an entertaining first half in Doha, both sides
surprisingly slipped into a defensive rut. Russia coach Dirk
Advocaat preferred to change more than half of his team but to no