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FIFA World Cup qualifiers Russia drew 1-1 against Serbia in Dubai as Aleksandr Samedov and Filip Djordjević traded goals in two first-half minutes.
With no uncapped players in his starting XI, Russia coach Fabio Capello still managed to test some of his less experienced players – deploying Aleksei Ionov as an attacking midfielder and Vladimir Granat alongside Sergei Ignashevich in central defence. In 30C heat, Samedov opened the scoring on 29 minutes only for Djordjević to reply immediately.
The first half was a tight physical affair but Aleksandar Kolarov had the earliest chance as he tested Igor Akinfeev. Russia were ahead when Vladimir Stojković parried Roman Shirokov's shot and Samedov tapped in from eight metres, yet at the other end Dušan Basta headed across goal at the far post and Djordjević placed a neat header into the net.
After the break Russia started to create more danger. Stojković parried the ball into Shirokov's path after a cross but the FC Zenit midfielder failed to finish properly before Aleksandr Kokorin was denied by a last-gasp Branislav Ivanović tackle. The FC Dinamo Moskva striker also missed Russia's next chance, his control letting him down after Shirokov put him clear on goal.
FC Lokomotiv Moskva defensive midfielder Dmitri Tarasov made his international debut late on, though Serbia had the last opening of the night with Basta firing straight at Akinfeev from the edge of the area. Russia next face South Korea on Tuesday.
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