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Russia continue Euro warm-up with a win over Serbia

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 May 2008

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Russia recorded a 2-1 win in a Euro 2008 warm-up match with Serbia played in the German town of Burghausen on Wednesday.

Recently crowned UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg's marksman Pavel Pogrebnyak and Spartak Moscow striker Roman Pavlyuchenko scored one apiece for Russia, while Hertha Berlin striker Marko Pantelic was on target for Serbia.

Both opponents looked slightly rusty from the start, producing a catalogue of unforced errors in the opening 10 minutes.

But in the 12th minute Russia went into a 1-0 lead through Pogrebnyak, who fired a 35-metre freekick inside the left post, the ball flying in off the woodwork.

Six minutes later Pantelic missed a clear chance to equalise, heading over the crossbar from six yards from Dejan Milovanovic's well-struck freekick.

Russia dominated the play but Pantelic nevertheless levelled at 1-1 five minutes before the break, clipping in from close range past helpless goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev following a Russian mixup in defence.

Russia replied positively and began peppering Serbia's goalie Vladimir Dislenkovic with shots but failed to restore their lead before the interval.

But three minutes after the restart Pavlyuchenko made it 2-1, firing in from seven metres following a short Dmitry Sychev cross from the left.

In the closing stages Russia were in control, stifling Serbia's attacking efforts and easily holding their advantage to the final whistle.

Guus Hiddink's Russia open their Euro 2008 campaign against Spain on June 10 followed by holders Greece (June 14) and Sweden (June 18) in the group stage.

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