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Argentina prove too much for Russia in Moscow friendly

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A strong Russia side lost 3-2 to Argentina on Wednesday evening despite taking an early lead in an entertaining friendly in Moscow.

MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - A strong Russia side lost 3-2 to Argentina on Wednesday evening despite taking an early lead in an entertaining friendly in Moscow.

Ahead after 17 minutes when Igor Semshov finished off a slick move, the home side had looked comfortable for much of the first half until a weak clearance fell to Sergio Aguero on the stroke of halftime and he fired home off the post from 20 meters.

Straight after the restart it got worse for the hosts when lackluster defending proved no match for a determined run from halftime substitute Lisandro Lopez and the striker's shot found the net through goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev's legs.

Fifteen minutes later Argentina looked to have made the game safe, a swift break bringing the ball to Jesus Datolo, who scored from the edge of the penalty area. Having just come on for Maxi Rodriguez, the goal scorer ran straight back towards the bench and leapt into the arms of coach Diego Maradona, knocking the Argentina legend to the ground.

Russia picked themselves up and enjoyed their best spell of the second half, capped with a goal from Tottenham Hotspur striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, whose free kick took a deflection off the wall and wrong-footed Mariano Andujarr in the Argentina goal.

But even with Arsenal star Andrei Arshavin playing the full 90 minutes, Russia could not level the score and Argentina finished the match stronger, consigning Russia to a rare home defeat.

 

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