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Russia 1 Turkey 1: World Cup hosts held in Moscow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2018

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Host nation Russia will head into the World Cup on a seven-match winless run after letting a first-half lead slip away in a 1-1 draw with Turkey.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have struggled in recent months as they prepare to take on Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener on June 14 and, in Tuesday’s final warm-up match, they were again denied victory in Moscow.

Aleksandr Samedov lit up a dull game as he broke the deadlock, but Russia could not build on their advantage and were frustrated when half-time substitute Yunus Malli steered in an equaliser.

Caglar Soyuncu squandered Turkey’s best chance of the first half, stooping to head wide, before gifting the hosts the opener 10 minutes before the break.

The defender’s stray pass prompted a ruthless Russian move as Alan Dzagoev slipped in Samedov to lift a delightful finish over Serkan Kirintili from a tight angle.

But Turkey, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, drew level just before the hour-mark when Malli picked out the bottom-left corner from 25 yards.

Russia pushed for a late winner, with Fedor Smolov slicing wide of the target when well-placed in the penalty area, but the hosts were forced to settle for a morale-sapping stalemate.

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