Shirokov struck a late penalty as Russia laboured to a 1-0 win over
Group F outsiders Azerbaijan on Tuesday to maintain their 100 percent
World Cup qualifying record under coach Fabio Capello.
Russians thoroughly dominated the visitors but failed to hit the target
until Shirokov calmly converted the 84th-minute spot-kick following a
foul on substitute Vladimir Bystrov.
Video replays showed the foul was committed outside the box but Azerbaijan coach Berti Vogts said the home team deserved to win.
can only congratulate Russia on their victory," former Germany boss
Vogts, who has been coaching the oil-rich country on the Caspian Sea
since 2008, told reporters.
fought hard but overall they played better than us. As for the penalty
kick, I didn't see the replay yet. Nevertheless, there's no point in
discussing the referee's decision now."
hosts, who beat main group rivals Portugal 1-0 on the same artificial
Luzhniki turf four days ago, were guilty of wasting numerous chances
against 111th-ranked Azerbaijan.
Kerzhakov, who scored the winner on Friday, came closest to finding the
net in the first half but his drive from the edge of the box hit the
crossbar in the 30th minute.
course, it would have been much easier for us if we scored an early
goal," said Italian Capello, who replaced Dick Advocaat as coach
following Russia's poor showing at Euro 2012.
you have two teams on the pitch. Azerbaijan have become a very
organised team under Berti Vogts, so today we had a very tough
The Azeris, beaten
by Russia 2-0 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier at the same arena in 2009,
were content to stay back for most of the match.
visitors, missing injured captain Rashad Sadygov, rarely troubled
Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev, who set his country's all-time record,
including Soviet times, by keeping a clean sheet for the eighth
is one of our best players. He is largely responsible for us winning
these four qualifiers without conceding a single goal," said Capello.
stayed top of the group on 12 points from four games and Azerbaijan
have one point following a 1-1 draw against Israel in last month's
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010