Kerzhakov breaks Russia scoring record in win over Azerbaijan

Kerzhakov breaks Russia scoring record in win over Azerbaijan
By Reuters

04/09/2014 at 05:57

Alexander Kerzhakov became Russia's record goalscorer with a double against Azerbaijan in a 4-0 friendly win in Moscow on Wednesday.

Sergey Ignashevich and Vladimir Granat were also on target in Russia's first game since their disappointing showing at the Brazil World Cup, where they failed to get past the group stage.

Coach Fabio Capello handed a debut to Dmitry Poloz, who has scored three goals in six games for Rostov this season, but it was Kerzhakov who grabbed the limelight.

The Zenit St Petersburg forward notched his 27th goal for his country after six minutes, passing Vladimir Beschastnykh's previous record tally, when he headed past Azerbaijan keeper, Kamran Agaev, following a fine left-wing cross by Dmitry Kombarov.

His 28th goal arrived five minutes later. He deftly deflected the ball past Agaev, following a good pass from Villarreal's Denis Cheryshev.

Russia, who were playing at the Khimki Arena, just north of the capital, put the result beyond any doubt five minutes before halftime.

Ignashevich, who was making his 101st appearance for Russia, scored his sixth international goal with a header.

Both sides made numerous changes throughout the second half, with Capello also handing debuts to 21-year-old Rubin Kazan midfielder Magomed Ozdoev and 25-year-old Spartak Moscow defender Sergey Parshivlyuk.

Dynamo Moscow defender Granat made it 4-0 on 80 minutes, scoring his first goal for his country with a thundering header.

Russia will get their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign underway on Sept. 8, when they face Liechtenstein at the Khimki Arena.

"The important thing is that a number of young players got the opportunity to make their debuts. Today I understood that a new generation is appearing in Russia and they have a future," Capello told reporters.

Teenage defender Ozan Tufan scored his first goal for Turkey in second-half stoppage time to give his side a 2-1 win over Denmark in their friendly international in Odense on Wednesday.

Denmark captain Daniel Agger, who last week left Liverpool to return to Copenhagen club Brondby, gave the Danes the lead from the penalty spot late in the first half, and the home side had plenty of chances to increase their advantage.

Nicklas Bendtner, left out of the original squad but called in as injury cover, was lively in attack but Turkey equalised through Olcay Sahan after 55 minutes.

Bursaspor's 19-year-old defender Tufan then rifled a late winner to give Turkey a scarcely-deserved victory.

Denmark host Armenia in Copenhagen in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday, while Turkey travel to Reykjavik to start their campaign away to Iceland on Tuesday.