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2021-22 FIFA World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Artem Dzyuba (26', 35')
  • Josip Ilicic (36')

Dzyuba double gives Russia 2-1 win over Slovenia in World Cup qualifier

Captain Artem Dzyuba scored twice to give Russia a 2-1 win over Slovenia in front of 15,000 fans in Sochi's Fisht Stadium on Saturday, putting the home side top of their World Cup qualifying group after two games.

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Russia dominated the opening stages of the game and though Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak did his best to keep them at bay, Dzyuba opened the scoring with a side-footed finish after midfielder Daler Kuzyayev set him up in the box.

Dzyuba added a second nine minutes later when he chested down a rebound off the crossbar, shrugged off two defenders and beat Oblak with a clinical finish.

However, their two-goal advantage and the home crowd's roars lasted only a minute as Slovenia forward Josip Ilicic fired in a powerful shot from range without even looking up to see where Anton Shunin was in Russia's goal.

Slovenia were unable to find an equaliser, however, with danger man Ilicic well-marked in the box as Russia held on to seal back-to-back wins in the qualifiers.

Russia, who have six points, play Slovakia away next, while Slovenia play Cyprus, with both games to be played on Tuesday.