Alexander Kokorin and Dmitry Kombarov scored in the first half to lead Russia to a 2-0 victory over Armenia in a warm-up match ahead of the World Cup on Wednesday.
Kokorin opened the scoring with a low shot off Alexander Samedov’s cross from the right in the 21st minute. Kombarov doubled the lead by converting a penalty after Artak Yedigaryan fouled Samedov in the box in the 43rd.
Armenia were depleted just before kick-off when Spartak’s Aras Özbiliz picked up a thigh injury while warming up.
Kokorin found the breakthrough midway through the opening period when he pounced on Aleksandr Samedov’s cross from the right. Armenia were quick to respond, though, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan forcing Igor Akinfeev into a fine save. Russia would have doubled their lead had Yuri Zhirkov not been thwarted by Roman Berezovski. Kombarov nevertheless did add a second soon enough, Samedov having been fouled in the area.
Armenia created decent chances of their own through Yura Movsisyan and Robert Arzumanyan.
Russia coach Fabio Capello substituted four starters at the interval and made two more substitutions later on. Russia never looked as convincing as it did in the first half, and Akinfeev had to make a series of saves.
”The match was played at high speed and should have helped our players to feel the rhythm of real football after a winter break,” Russia coach Fabio Capello said. ”All our players were in different physical conditions, but generally I’m satisfied with the team’s presentation.”