MOSCOW (AP) Russia will go into its home World Cup without a win in seven games after drawing 1-1 with an under-strength Turkey team on Tuesday.
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Alexander Samedov put Russia ahead in the 36th minute with an elegant chip over goalkeeper Serkan Kirintili from a tight angle off a pass from Alan Dzagoev. However, Turkey leveled in the 60th when Russia failed to close down substitute midfielder Yunus Malli, allowing the former Germany under-21 player to hit a shot low and hard from distance past Igor Akinfeev.
Fyodor Smolov could have restored Russia’s lead after getting in behind the Turkish defense in the 72nd but shot wide of the far post.
Russia opens the World Cup at Moscow’s vast Luzhniki arena June 14 against Saudi Arabia – the only team in the competition which is lower in the world rankings – and then meets Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.
Turkey hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002.