Russia have beaten Iraq 2-0 in a friendly on Sunday in what was their first international match on home soil since November 2021.
Recall the Russians were barred in February 2022 by both FIFA and UEFA from continental and global competitions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Substitute Anton Miranchuk fired Russia ahead shortly after halftime, pouncing on a rebound after Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim parried Alexander Sobolev’s low shot to his right.
Sergei Pinyaev then grabbed a stylish second, becoming Russia’s youngest ever goalscorer in the process at 18 years, four months and 24 days.
The hosts dominated possession but struggled to make it pay in the first half, with Ayman Hussein and Ibrahim Bayesh squandering good opportunities for the visitors.
Official attendance at the 68,000-seater Gazprom Arena was 23,818. The stadium had been due to host last year’s Champions League final before Russia was stripped of that honour.
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