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Football | International

Roman Shirokov © Action Images

Russia ease past Iceland



Roman Shirokov scored one and assisted on the other as Russia eased past Iceland 2-0 in a friendly on Wednesday to stretch their unbeaten run under coach Fabio Capello to seven games.

The Russians dominated for most of the game, played in the Spanish resort of Marbella, but wasted numerous chances before Shirokov opened the account with a low shot from close range just before the interval following good work by his Zenit St Petersburg teammates Viktor Faizulin and Vladimir Bystrov.

Oleg Shatov, playing in his first international after coming on for Alexander Anyukov at the start of the second half, doubled the lead with a powerful blast from the edge of the box in the 66th minute after a neat pass from Shirokov.

The 22-year-old Shatov was called up to the national team from Russia's Under-23 side by Capello at the last minute after several senior players could not make the trip.

Iceland rarely threatened as Russia keeper Igor Akinfeyev, who played in the first half, extended his country's all-time record, including the Soviet times, by keeping a clean sheet for the ninth consecutive game.

The Russians, who have made a flying start in their World Cup qualifying campaign under Capello by winning all four of their matches in Group F, face Northern Ireland on March 22.

Iceland, in fourth place with six points from four matches in Group E, take on Slovenia on the same day.

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