sport

Russia edge out Slovakia

Substitute Alexander Kerzhakov scored a late winner as World Cup finalists Russia overcame Slovakia 1-0 in St Petersburg.

Fabio Capello picked a strong team as Russia started their World Cup preparations in earnest, but had to wait until the 82nd minute to make the breakthrough thanks to Kerzhakov.

Goalmouth incidents were scarce during the first half and the match failed to improve after half-time as both teams made several substitutions.

Alexander Kokorin finished past Jan Mucha following Sergei Ignashevich's through-ball, but the Dynamo Moscow forward had been ruled offside.

With eight minutes to go, Russia secured the win when Maxim Kanunnikov crossed and the unmarked Kerzhakov headed past Mucha.

Russia now face Norway and Morocco in further friendlies before heading to Brazil where Capello's side have been drawn in Group H alongside South Korea, Belgium and Algeria.