Russia held by Qatar in friendly

The 2018 World Cup hosts held to a shock 1-1 draw in Doha as the 2022 hosts stay firm.

    Russia's head coach Dirk Advocaat was disappointed with the performance [AFP]

    Roman Pavlyuchenko scored his first international goal in nearly 19 months to salvage a 1-1 draw for Russia against Qatar in a friendly on Tuesday in Doha.

    The Russians had failed to find the net in their previous three games and the Tottenham Hotspur striker finally ended his country's goal drought in the 34th minute after a nice ball from Andrei Arshavin.

    Defender Mohammed Kosola gave 90th-ranked Qatar a flying start by heading home from two metres after just four minutes having been left completely unmarked in front of goal.

    Russia coach Dick Advocaat again blamed his team's lack of motivation in friendly matches.

    "I must be honest, I couldn't get the necessary commitment from my players tonight nor in our previous match," said the Dutchman in reference to Russia's 1-0 defeat by Iran last month.

    "I'm very disappointed with the result here."

    Disarray

    The home team could have easily added two more in the opening 10 minutes, with Uruguay-born striker Sebastian Soria and Youssif Ahmed both hitting the post as Russia's defence looked in disarray.

    Int'l Results

    Tuesday March 29

     Belarus 0-1 Canada
     China PR 3-0 Honduras
     Colombia 0-2 Chile
     Cyprus 0-1 Bulgaria
     Ecuador 0-0 Peru
     England 1-1 Ghana
     France 0-0 Croatia
     Germany 1-2 Australia
     Greece 0-0 Poland
     Qatar 1-1 Russia
     Rep of Ireland 2-3 Uruguay
     Slovakia 1-2 Denmark
     Ukraine 0-2 Italy

    The visitors gradually found their range midway through the first half and Pavlyuchenko beat Qatar keeper Mohammed Mubarak with a low drive from 10 metres.

    Pavlyuchenko's last goal for Russia came in a 3-1 win against Wales in a 2010 World Cup qualifier in September 2009.

    Both teams made wholesale changes after the break but neither could break the deadlock despite numerous chances.

    Substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak wasted Russia's best chance in the last minute when he fired wide from the edge of the box.

    Milovan Rajevac, making his debut as Qatar coach, was pleased with his team's effort.

    "We played a good game and I don't think we looked inferior to the Russians," said the Serbian, who took over the Qatar job last month after guiding Ghana to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals in South Africa.

    Tuesday's match celebrated the winning bids to host the World Cup for the two oil-rich countries. In December, FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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