World Cup-bound Russia tops Armenia 2-0 in international friendly
KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) - 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.
Russia dominated from the start and came close to scoring several times, only for Roman Berezovsky to deny Yuri Zhirkov's attempt in the sixth minute and block Kokorin's low backheel shot four minutes later.
At the other end, Henrik Mkhitaryan tested Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev with a low bouncing shot from outside the box midway through the first half.
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,'' Capello said. ''All our players were in different physical conditions, but generally I'm satisfied with the team's presentation.''
Russia will next host Slovakia in a warm-up on May 21 and faces South Korea in its World Cup Group H opener on June 17.
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