Capellos Russia hammer Israel

11 September 2012 08:47

Fabio Capello's Russia kept their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign firmly on track with a decisive 4-0 victory over Group F rivals Israel here on Tuesday.

An Alexander Kerzhakov brace and goals from Alexander Kokorin and substitute Viktor Fayzulin ensured Capello's side have a maximum six points from their first two matches.

It was the former England coach's second competitive game in charge after Friday's 2-0 win over Northern Ireland in Moscow, while Israel are still looking for their first win after drawing 1-1 against Azerbaijan on Friday.

The Israelis proved no match for the 13th-ranked Russians who were all over a side 71 places behind them in the FIFA rankings from the outset at the Ramat Gan stadium with Kerzhakov having two early shots at goal.

The Zenit St Petersburg striker's determination soon paid off however and he got the visitors off the mark after just seven minutes, with the 29-year-old's free-kick leaving Dudu Aouate with no chance in the Israeli goal.

Dynamo Moscow forward Kokorin claimed his first international goal when he added a second after 18 minutes.

The 21-year-old took advantage of some disarray in the Israeli back line with two defenders colliding as they scrambled to prevent Vladimir Bystrov from getting a free shot on goal.

Bystrov was replaced by Alexander Samedov as a result of the collision.

Kokorin had a chance to add a second after 29 minutes but his header was deflected away from goal.

Israel battened down the hatches in the dying minutes of the first half but a determined fightback saw efforts from Bebras Natcho, Mahran Radi and captain Yossi Benayoun all miss chances their target.

After the break Kerzhakov grabbed his second on 64 minutes and was followed by Fayzulin whose volley from a Samedov cross on 77 minutes sealed victory with his second goal of the campaign.

It was a convincing performance from Russia, who have not reached a World Cup finals since 2002, and had struggled to see off Northern Ireland at the Lokomotiv Stadium.

Capello's side next take on Portugal, their biggest rivals for an automatic spot in the World Cup, in just one month. Israel next play Luxembourg.

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17