MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. A friendly football match between the Russian and Turkish national football teams ended with 1-1 draw on Tuesday night in Moscow, which is set to host next week the opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The score was opened by hosts Russia 35 minutes into the match with a sharp angle kick by midfielder Alexander Samedov from the right wing into the high left center of the net over Turkish goalkeeper Serkan Kirintili.
The score of 1-0 in favor of Russia remained unchanged as both teams retreated for the break before the second half, which saw a series of yellow cards flashed at the dawn of the period. Referees awarded the yellow cards to Turkey’s Okay Yokuslu, then to a trio of Russian players Alexander Golovin, Alan Dzagoev and Yury Zhirkov.
Following the rain of yellow cards and just 15 minutes into the second half, Turkey tied the score at 1-1 with a powerful goal from outside of the box by midfielder Yunus Malli into the left lower corner behind Russian goalkeeper Igor Akenfeev. The 26-year-old midfielder scored the goal from the assist of his team’s goalkeeper Kirintili.
The rain of yellow cards in the second half did not stop and Turkey’s Hasan Ali Kaldirim was booked on the 75th minute of the game for tripping his opponent. His teammate Emre Akbaba was handed another yellow card on the 87th minute of the match time.
After the 90-minute regular time was over, referees ruled to add additional three minutes to the game time, but the score of 1-1 remained flashing unaltered until the final whistle.
Tickets were sold out for the match between Russia and Turkey on Tuesday night at the 30,000-seat VEB Arena and it was the final friendly fixture for the Russian national squad ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Turkey failed to clear the qualifying stage to play in the much-anticipated quadrennial international football event.
Prior to tonight’s match, the Turkish national squad had a better record in five previously played friendly matches compared to the same number played by Russia. Led by Romanian Head Coach Mircea Lucescu, Turkey won two, lost one and finished two more friendlies with a draw, while the Russian national squad, managed by Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov, lost four games and finished one with a draw.
Between May 20 and 31, the Russian national football team stayed at a training camp in Austria’s Neustift im Stubaital. The Russian squad played a friendly football match against the Austrian team on May 30 (0-1) before going home to play against Turkey on June 5.
On December 1, 2017, the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow hosted the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which determined the group breakdown for the FIFA flagship event this year. A total of 32 national football squads were divided into eight groups with four teams in each. Hosts Russia were placed in Group A with teams from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off next Thursday with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.