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Terehhov leaves Russia reeling

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

By Margus Luik at A Le Coq Arena

[1] Russia's hopes of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup were dealt a blow in Tallinn on Wednesday when they were held to a draw by Estonia.

Arshavin opener

[2] The visitors dominated the first-half and went into the interval in front courtesy of Andrei Arshavin's 18th-minute strike. But Estonia fought their way back and drew level through Sergei Terehhov, whose 64th-minute goal earned his side a deserved and memorable draw.

Pressure pays

[3] Russia were quickly on to the attack and Aleksandr Kerzhakov had an early chance but shot wide. Artur Kotenko saved from Dmitri Khokhlov on 15 minutes, but three minutes later Russia's pressure paid. Centre-back Sergei Ignashevich picked out Arshavin, who shot powerfully into the roof of the net from ten metres.

Kotenko saves

[4] Estonia were restricted to half-chances as Russia continued to dominate and Arshavin came close to doubling the lead before the break, Kotenko this time blocking the striker's shot. The goalkeeper then launched a counterattack that almost resulted in Estonia drawing level. Terehhov beat Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to a loose ball on the right, and shot towards the unguarded goal, but Aleksei Berezoutski was back to clear.

Terehhov leveller

[5] Estonia, who lost to Slovakia on Saturday, looked like a new side in the second half as they stepped up their search for an equaliser. Kristen Viikmäe drew an early save out of Akinfeev, but Russia remained dangerous and at the other end Vladimir Bystrov sent a header just over the crossbar. On 53 minutes, Dmitri Kruglov again tested Akinfeev, and soon after Estonia drew level. Kruglov's low free-kick deflected off Viikmäe's heal and fell invitingly to Terehhov, who lashed a fierce shot beyond Akinfeev from six metres.

Kolodin chance

[6] Russia, struggling to keep pace with Portugal and Slovakia in Group 3, were stung into action, but Kotenko kept his side in the game with a pair of important saves. With eight minutes to play substitute Denis Kolodin fired in a shot from 25 metres, but Kotenko made a fine one-handed save to turn the ball around the post.

Home joy

[7] The final whistle was greeted with joy by the 9,000 home supporters, but that emotion contrasted sharply with the disappointment felt by a Russian side who can ill afford to slip up at home to Latvia on 4 June. Estonia play Liechtenstein on the same day.

Russia's Sergei Ignashevich (left) jumps with Martin Reim of Estonia