Fred equaliser denies Russia win against Brazil

Fred equaliser denies Russia win against Brazil
By Eurosport

26/03/2013 at 08:26Updated 26/03/2013 at 13:27

International friendly, Stamford Bridge - Brazil 1 (Fred 89) Russia (Faitzulin 73)

Fred struck in the final minute as Brazil denied Russia their first win over the 2014 World Cup hosts in a lively 1-1 friendly draw at Stamford Bridge.

Viktor Faitzulin forced home the opening goal on 73 minutes for Fabio Capello's side after David Luiz and Fernando had blocked efforts on their line by Alexander Kerzhakov and Roman Shirokov with Brazil badly exposed at the back.

Russia looked set to see out the match courtesy of a stout defensive effort, but were finally undone in the death throes of the contest when Fred scored his fourth goal in as many games for his country after the superb Brazilian substitute Hulk had fed Marcelo to pick out the Fluminese forward for an easy finish.

A draw was about a fair outcome from a bitterly cold evening in London with Capello remaining unbeaten as Russia coach after eight games.

Of concern to Brazil, they remain without a win in three games under Luiz Felipe Scolari since he began his second spell as his country's national coach.

Brazil drew 2-2 with Italy on Thursday night and made several changes.

Kaka replaced Hulk - who provided a thrilling cameo when he took over from Oscar on 67 minutes - while Thiago Silva and Marcelo replaced Dante and Filipe Luis in defence. Chelsea star Ramires was out due to injury, but Oscar joined David Luiz in starting on their club ground.

Russia were supposed to play Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier on Friday, but the game was postponed twice due to bad weather.

Capello handed a start to Roman Shirokov in place of Igor Denisov, and must have been content with the technical output of his side throughout the evening against the five-times world champions.

Russia were very much to the fore early on as Thiago Silva made a strong block to deny Kerzhakov with Julio Cesar diving to repel a Sergei Ignashevich free-kick.

Vasili Berezutsky saw a shot come back off the hand of Fernando, but his appeals for a penalty were rejected by referee Howard Webb before Kerzhakov hammered an effort wide of goal.

Silva was required to produce a fine tackle to deny Kerzhakov after Shirokov failed to connect with a cross in the air.

Brazil were toiling to cut open Russia as Neymar thrashed a shot over from 18 yards out on 28 minutes in a move that became typical of South American frustrations.

Cesar was needed to swat a Faitzulin shot past a post before the break.

Brazil continued to enjoy plenty of possession without finding a way through Russia as Kaka was finally replaced by Diego Costa on 78 minutes, but it needed his fellow substitute Hulk to make the crucial difference in playing provider for Fred's equaliser.


Hulk (Brazil) - Superb stuff from the Zenit St Petersburg forward as he helped stave off defeat with his energy, drive and quality obvious in the final 23 minutes or so.