Roman Shirokov lifts Russia to 1–0 win over Portugal in friendly
KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) — Roman Shirokov's 89th-minute goal gave Russia a 1–0 win over Portugal in a friendly Saturday, extending the winning start to new Russia coach Leonid Slutsky's reign.
A tight match was headed for a draw before Fyodor Smolov and Artyom Dzyuba combined on the counterattack to set up Shirokov, who scored with a calm finish.
The win is Russia's fifth in five games under Slutsky, who has overseen a dramatic improvement in the 2018 World Cup host nation's results since taking charge in August, including securing a place at next year's European Championship.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos used the game to grant a first international appearance to 18-year-old midfielders Goncalo Guedes and Ruben Neves, as well as forward Lucas Joao. Russia's only debutant was midfielder Vladislav Ignatyev.