Russia six-shooters show no mercy
Russia 6-0 Kazakhstan
Six different players were on the scoresheet as Russia crushed Kazakhstan 6-0 in Moscow in their first warm-up fixture before UEFA EURO 2008™.
Pavel Pogrebnyak and Vladimir Bystrov struck before half-time, Konstantin Zyrianov added the third midway through the second half, while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Dmitri Torbinskiy and Dmitri Sychev scored three more in the last five minutes as Russia overwhelmed the former Soviet republic in the teams' first encounter.
Russia, spearheaded by UEFA Cup joint-leading marksman Pogrebnyak, created their first chance as early as the second minute, when David Loria had to parry an angled strike from Bilyaletdinov. Pogrebnyak then came close to connecting with Roman Shirokov's cross, before Kairat Nurdauletov's handball on 26 minutes resulted in a penalty converted by the FC Zenit St. Petersburg goal machine. Igor Semshov and Pogrebnyak had further opportunities but it was Bystrov – from Pogrebnyak's low ball across goal – who netted with an emphatic finish just under the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
Coach Guus Hiddink made four substitutions at the interval, but Russia came back out even stronger with Zhirkov missing by centimetres when he tried to lob Loria following a majestic pass by Bilyaletdinov. Torbinskiy was next to test the Kazakhstan keeper with a powerful shot after more good work by Bilyaletdinov, before Russia finally scored again on 58 minutes. With Torbinskiy and Bilyaletdinov involved once more, Zyrianov smashed in his goal following a mistake by Samat Smakov. Soon after, Igor Akinfeev showed his goalkeeping credentials by pulling off a fantastic reflex save from Kazakhstan captain Nurbol Zhumaskaliev.
Russia responded to this warning with three late goals. On 85 minutes Roman Pavlyuchenko was brought down in the box and Bilyaletdinov tucked home the penalty. Four minutes later, Pavlyuchenko won an aerial challenge and Sychev sent Torbinskiy clear into the area to make it 5-0. The last goal by Sychev was the best of the night – Zhirkov provided a teasing cross from the left, and the FC Lokomotiv Moskva striker connected with a diving header to seal a convincing victory.
Russia: Akinfeev, Kolodin (V Berezutski 59), Shirokov (Ignashevich 63), Anyukov (Sychev 46), Bystrov (Saenko 46), Zhirkov, Semshov (Torbinskiy 46), Bilyaletdinov, Semak, Zyrianov, Pogrebnyak (Pavlyuchenko 46).
Kazakhstan: Loria, Nurdauletov, Kuchma, Smakov, Irismetov, Skorykh, Karpovich (Khokhlov 59), Ashirbekov (Kukeev 79), Aliyev (Logvinenko 44, Ibrayev 79), Suyumagambetov (Ostapenko 46), Zhumaskaliev.