Russia were given a stern test ahead of UEFA EURO 2012 as they were made to work hard for a 0-0 draw against Lithuania in Switzerland.
Dick Advocaat's side, who begin next month's final tournament against the Czech Republic on 8 June, dominated possession for large spells at Nyon's Colovray Stadium but found resistance from well-drilled opponents who impressed throughout.
The opening exchanges were more fraught than either coach would have bargained for with both sides striking the bar inside two minutes. First, Lithuania goalkeeper Ernestas Šetkus tipped a ricochet off his own defender, Tomas Mikuckis, onto the frame of the goal, before Linas Pilibaitis struck the woodwork at the other end.
Lithuania grew in confidence after that and forced the most presentable chances of the first half, giving Igor Akinfeev ample opportunity to show his form on his first international appearance in more than nine months because of injury. The PFC CSKA Moskva goalkeeper raced off his line to smother a shot from Darvydas Šernas early on and was also thankful that neither a header from Andrius Velička nor a left-footed effort from Deividas Česnauskis found their range.
Advocaat made four changes at the break, introducing Alan Dzagoev, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Kokorin, but it did little to change the flow of the match; lengthy periods of Russian possession interspersed with good chances for Csaba László's team.
Ramūnas Radavičius was involved in the best of the chances, outstripping Aleksei Berezutski on the hour only to shoot over. Then, his forceful free-kick was spilled by Akinfeev but the loose pickings drifted away from Šernas. Pavlyuchenko found space for a half-chance before the end but connected poorly and scuffed wide.
Next up for Russia is another friendly with Italy on Friday before the main event in little more than a week's time.