Russia held by Uruguay in Euro 2012 test

Russia were held to a 1-1 draw by Uruguay in a lively encounter on Friday in the first of their three friendlies before the start of Euro 2012.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 48th minute, taking the ball to the right of the area before easily going by two defenders and beating Russia goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev with a low drive from 12 metres.

Second-half substitute Alexander Kerzhakov equalised a minute later, taking advantage of a defensive miscue as the Latin Americans appealed for offside.

The Russians controlled the tempo in the first half but Uruguay, who reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2010, looked dangerous on counter-attacks, coming close on a couple of occasions.

Suarez, undoubtedly the most active player for the visitors, just missed a far corner with a low shot in the 21st minute after fooling central defender Sergei Ignashevich in the box.

A few minutes later, the Liverpool forward created another chance, laying off to Edinson Cavani but the Napoli striker fired over the bar from a good position.

"We played against a very good team, which is ranked number three in the world by FIFA," Russia coach Dick Advocaat told a news conference.

"Uruguay have four strikers in their team whose average price is 40 million [euros]. But we played well today and we're going in the right direction," he said.

"I think we haven't shown our full potential just yet, the most important thing is to improve for our first Euro 2012 game against the Czech Republic."

Friday's match was the last test for the Russian players to impress Advocaat before the Dutchman announced the final 23-man Euro 2012 squad later in the evening.

Before the game Advocaat said the goalkeeper who played against Uruguay [Malafeyev] would be his first choice at Euro 2012, but afterwards he was coy about it.

"You want to know the starting keeper and the rest of our line-up? Well, you'll see it when we take to the pitch against the Czechs," Advocaat told reporters.

Russia play two more friendlies, against Lithuania and Italy on May 29 and June 1, before flying to Poland for the Euros.

The tournament starts on June 8 when Russia play the Czech Republic while co-hosts Poland face 2004 European champions Greece in the other opening Group A match.


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