For any fan of soccer, the world cup is one of the most anticipates events that only comes around every 4 years. The next time will be in 2010 and will take place in South Africa. Even though 2010 far away the Russian Team is already hoping for a sucessful showing in South Africa. The Article is from www. Russiatoday.com/sports/news
Russia's 2010 World Cup campaign begins with win
Russia have won their opening game on the road to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The hosts suffered a minor scare before overcoming Wales 2-1 in Moscow.
Expectations were high as Russian fans took their first chance to see the team in competitive action since the Euro 2008 Finals.Russia were expected to collect the three points easily, with John Toshack’s Welsh side being hit by a number of injuries.The hosts started well with Roman Pavluchenko having the opportunity to put the home side in front on 13 minutes, but an excellent save from keeper Wayne Hennessy denied the Tottenham striker.Russia dominated the opening encounters, but out of nowhere Wales had a chance to put themselves into the lead.Gareth Bale was tripped in the area by Russian captain Sergey Semak. He picked himself up to take the penalty, but an excellent save to his right by Igor Akinfeev denied the Welshman.Midway through the first half Russia were also awarded a penalty, after Zryanov was fouled. This time Pavluchenko was able to find the back of the net to put his side into a deserved lead.Wales improved after the half time break, as Russia began to give the ball away more frequently. However, Andrey Arshavin should have scored on 64 minutes.Just minutes later, Wales got the equalizer they deserved. An excellent run from Gareth Bale eluded the Russian defence, and his cross left Jo Ledley with the easiest of tasks to restore parity.Russia then pushed for a winner and Hiddink sent on UEFA Super Cup’s hero Pavel Pogrebnyak in search of a second goal. The decision proved right, and with 10 minutes to play Pogrebnyak put the home side back in front.Arshavin made a splendid cross, Hennessy did very well to deny Zryanov’s header, but Pogrebnyak was on hand to score his sixth goal for his country.Although Russia ran out 2-1 winners, Manager Guus Hiddink was not pleased with how his side played in the second half.“I think in the second half we forgot what we can do and that’s playing football. We didn’t move, we played static”.But in the end the Russian coach praised his team for its strong character in managing to win the game, and he stressed Russia deserved the victory. Wales coach John Toshack was disappointed in the result, particularly after coming back into the game in the second half: "We suffered in the first half. The Russians played very well. But, I think, we were the better side in the second half. And to lose the way we did is bitterly disappointing".