Russia vs. Israel: Final score 3-1, hosts maintain lead over Portugal

Alex Livesey

Portugal didn't get any help on Tuesday. Russia are still on track to qualify for the World Cup after they beat Israel.

Russia will head into the final international date in control of their own World Cup qualification destiny after they won their game in hand over Israel, 3-1, on Tuesday. They now sit one point ahead of Portugal, who will have to qualify for a major tournament through a playoff yet again if the Russians don't slip up in October.

Israel did well to hold on to a clean sheet in the first half, but quickly fell apart early in the second. Central defender Vasili Berezutsky netted the Russian opener in the 49th minute with a bit of an uncharacteristic poacher's effort. Israel failed to clear their lines during a fairly routine attack and Berezutsky, up from defense, capitalized with a low shot from the center of the penalty area.

Alexander Kokorin all but sealed the win for Russia with a stunning goal just three minutes later, beating Dudu Aouate from more than 25 yards with an absolute missile of a strike. Substitute Denis Glushakov added another in the 74th minute, finishing after Aouate saved a penalty by Roman Shirokov.

Eran Zehavi scored late after Russia had switched off, but it was a mere consolation goal.

Russia: Akinfeev, Ignashevich, V. Berezutsky, Kozlov, Kombarov, Denisov (Glushakov 45'), Shirokov, Faizulin (Dzagoev 45'), Kokorin (Bystrov 77'), Kerzhakov, Samedov

Goals: Berezutsky (49'), Kokorin (52'), Glushakov (74')

Israel: Aouate, Ben Haim, Keinan, Yeini, Davidadza, Alberman (Radi 71'), Melikson (Ezra 45'), Natcho, Rafaelov, Barda (Shechter 65'), Zehavi

Goals: Zehavi (90')

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