Diskerud rescues draw for US in Russia

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 09:20 hrs

Krasnodar (Russia), Nov 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Mix Diskerud's stoppage-time strike rescued a 2-2 draw for the United States against Russia in a soccer friendly.

The draw Wednesday extends to nine games an unbeaten run for the US since a 1-4 defeat to Brazil in May while Russia have yet to lose in six games since Fabio Capello took charge in July.

Russia took an early lead when Fyodor Smolov made a dream start to his Russia career with a goal nine minutes into his debut.

The Anzhi Makhachkala forward latched onto Alexander Kerzhakov's through-ball and buried a low shot past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard but injured his thigh in the process and had to go off.

Michael Bradley brought the US level in the 76th minute, striking a powerful shot from Juan Agudelo.

Roman Shirokov's 10th international goal restored Russia's lead when he stepped up to score from the spot in the 84th minute after Howard brought down Artyom Dzyuba.

Diskerud made it 2-2 three minutes into stoppage time with a fierce volley from the edge of the box that took a heavy deflection off full-back Andrei Yeshchenko, leaving the goalkeeper stranded.

In was the two countries' first meeting since Russia beat the Americans 2-0 in Moscow in 2000.

The match was played here to escape winter temperatures in Moscow but a cold snap meant it took place in near-freezing conditions anyway.

Maxim Grigoryev, who replaced the injured Smolov, almost scored his own debut goal in 18th minute but was stopped by a last-ditch challenge from Clarence Goodson as he prepared to shoot. Goodson had himself only just come on for captain Carlos Bocanegra, who hurt his left hamstring.

Bradley shot at Russia keeper Vladimir Gabulov 10 minutes later and Grigoryev sent an effort at Howard soon after before the US striker partnership of Jozy Altidore and Herculez Gomez each sent shots high over the bar late in the half.

Early in the second half, Howard dived to keep out one Kokorin shot and then soon found himself in a one-on-one duel with the same striker. Kokorin went to ground and appealed for a penalty, but the referee booked the Russian for diving.

On the 62th minute, two substitutes combined as Renat Yanbaev crossed for Alan Dzagoev, who sent his header straight at Howard.

Shortly before Bradley's equaliser, Renat Yanbaev and Denis Glushakov combined well in the box, but Howard saved Yanbaev's eventual effort. At the other end, Altidore's poor first touch meant he spilled a good chance to Gabulov.

As well as Smolov and Grigoryev, Russia coach Fabio Capello gave debuts to Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev, while midfielder Josh Gatt earned his first cap for the US.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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