Egypt’s World Cup group rivals: Russia fall against Austria
Egypt’s World Cup group competitors and tournament hosts have been defeated by Austria in an international friendly in Innsburk ahead of the world’s most prestigious event in June.
The hosts Russia have been drawn in Group A alongside Egypt, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
Austria XI: Linder; Schaub, Dragovic, Prodl, Hinteragger; Zulj, Arnautovic, Baumgartlinger, Schöpf, Lainer; Kainz
Russia XI: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Ignashevich, Granat, Kudryashov; Zobnin, Kuzyaev, Zhirkov; Samedov, Smolov, Golovin
Austria started the game with the right approach, holding the most of ball possession and controlling the tempo of the match. The first chance for the hosts came in the 12th minute forward Robert Zulj tried his luck from distance but it goes over Akinfeev’s crossbar with little distance.
Russia responded to Austria’s heavy pressure when they pushed forward two minutes later after Samedov sent a low drive towards the goal but it went wide.
Nevertheless, Austria resumed their high pressing until they finally found the net when West Ham star Marko Arnautovic sprinted on the right flank before cutting inside and squaring the ball to Schalke midfielder Alessandro Schöpf who was coming from behind and fired in goal for the first half to end 1-0 for the hosts.
In the second half things were more end to end between the two sides but with Austria still slightly having the upper hand with multiple misses from Arnautovic and co. While Russia also burst forward on few occasions without being able to convert their chances and the game ended with 1-0 advantage for Austria.
Russia will play one final match-up against Turkey as the final step of their preparation ahead of the World Cup.
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