Russia will head to the FIFA World Cup in high spirits after defeating Morocco with goals from Vasili Berezutski and Yuri Zhirkov – both following corners.
There was a pre-game blow for home coach Fabio Capello when midfielder Denis Glushakov was injured during the warm-up, but Igor Denisov slotted into the starting XI seamlessly as Russia went on to claim victory in Moscow.
The home side were on top from the off but could not create clear chances and on 23 minutes Omar El Kaddouri hit the post for the north African team after a great pass by Mbark Boussoufa. Soon after Aleksandr Kokorin was played through but could not beat Karim Fegrouche.
However, in the 29th minute Russia were ahead when a corner was sent in and although captain Berezutski's first shot was blocked, he scored from the rebound. Fegrouche again denied Kokorin early in the second half but on 58 minutes the ball was played to Zhirkov outside the area and he produced a brilliant strike into the top corner.
Morocco had a golden opportunity to pull one back on 78 minutes but Yuri Lodygin saved from fellow substitute Youssef El-Arabi. The goalkeeper then did well a minute before the final whistle, claiming the ball just as Mehdi Carcela-González looked certain to score.
Russia, who last week beat Slovakia 1-0 and drew 1-1 in Norway, open their finals campaign against South Korea on 18 June before going on to play Belgium and Algeria in Group H.
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