Two defensive fumbles from a misfiring Italian side gifted Roman Shirokov a brace of goals as Russia recorded a 3-0 friendly win Friday in their last game before starting Euro 2012 in a week’s time.
Russia go into the tournament unbeaten in their last 14 games, while Italy, already in turmoil from a match-fixing scandal in Serie A, suffered their third consecutive defeat.
Russia’s breakthrough came on 58 minutes when Shirokov declined a chance to shoot and flicked the ball to Alan Dzagoev , who fed Alexander Kerzhakov to beat substitute goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis with a powerful bouncing shot.
Seconds earlier, Antonio Cassano contrived to miss the target from five yards out, somehow scooping Mario Balotelli’s cross vertically into the air rather than into Igor Akinfeev’s net.
Shirokov was all but gifted Russia’s second goal on 75 minutes after he sent Andrei Arshavin one-on-one with de Sanctis, who accidentally deflected the ball back for Shirokov to fire into an empty net.
Young striker Alexander Kokorin crossed for Shirokov on 89 minutes and watched as Christian Maggio failed to control the ball, bouncing it onto Shirokov’s shoulder at the far post and allowing him the easiest of finishes for Russia’s third.
Russia: Vyacheslav Malafeev (Igor Akinfeev 46), Kirill Nababkin, Sergei Ignashevich, Alexei Berezutsky, Yuri Zhirkov (Dmitry Kombarov 87), Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Roman Shirokov, Alan Dzagoev (Alexander Kokorin 85), Andrei Arshavin, Alexander Kerzhakov (Roman Pavlyuchenko, 62).
Italy: Gianluigi Buffon, Christian Maggio, Federico Balzaretti (Angelo Ogbonna 53), Andrea Barzaldi, Leonardo Bonucci, Claudio Marchisio, Daniele de Rossi (Antonio Nocerino 62), Riccardo Montolivo (Thiago Motta, 62), Andrea Pirlo (Antonio di Natale 68), Mario Ballotelli, Antonio Cassano (Sebastian Giovinco 68).