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Russia denied at the last by USA

Wednesday 14 November 2012 19.20 CET
Russia's Aleksandr Anyukov (left) closes down Geoff Cameron during the 2-2 draw

Russia led twice but had to settle for a share of the spoils against the United States after conceding an added-time equaliser in Krasnodar.

Coach Fabio Capello had promised to test some new faces but just one of six potential debutants, Fedor Smolov, made the starting XI and it took the FC Anji Makhachkala forward a mere nine minutes to open the scoring. The score stayed that way until 14 minutes from time when Michael Bradley equalised for the visitors and, although Roman Shirokov's penalty gave Russia the lead for a second time on 84 minutes, they were denied victory by Mikkel Diskerud.

Smolov could not have wished for a better beginning to his international career as the on-loan Anji striker collected Aleksandr Kerzhakov's pass and, with composure that belied his experience, fired low past Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard. However, the 22-year-old injured himself in the process and gave way for another debutant Maksim Grigoriev.

Russia continued to control proceedings in the first half as the USA failed to seriously test goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov, making his first international appearance since a February friendly against Denmark. Both teams increased the tempo after the break with Joshua Gatt drawing a save out of Gabulov before Aleksandr Kokorin went close on two occasions. Howard had to be at his best moments later to deny Renat Yanbaev and substitute Alan Dzagoev.

Jürgen Klinsmann's side made Russia pay for their missed chances when Bradley's 76th-minute volley went in off a post. However, within eight minutes, Capello's charges reestablished their advantage when Shirokov converted from the spot after Artem Dzyuba was felled in the penalty area. The USA had the final say, though, as Diskerud's strike three minutes into added time meant it was honours even.

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