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Capello: Akinfeev Key in Russia's Perfect Run

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Russia coach Fabio Capello praised his goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as the foundation of Russia's 100 percent record in four World Cup qualifying games Tuesday.

Russia coach Fabio Capello praised his goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as the foundation of Russia's 100 percent record in four World Cup qualifying games Tuesday.

Russia top Group F by six points after Tuesday's 1-0 win over Azerbaijan, having won all four games without conceding a goal, all with CSKA Moscow's Akinfeev between the posts.

Roman Shirokov scored the only goal of the game from the spot on 84 minutes after poor finishing and Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Agayev combined to frustrate Russia for most of the match.

"You have to ask the keeper," he said when asked how the long the run could continue.

"If not for his contribution, it's completely possible that these four games could have ended in draws."

During the game, Akinfeev set a new record for consecutive minutes in the Russia goal without conceding, a feat Capello praised.

In Capello's first three competitive games, Russia recorded a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland, a 4-0 thrashing of Israel and the country's first win against Portugal, a 1-0 home victory Friday.

Russia next face the United States in a friendly next month.

 

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