Matches | Review

Aguero seals Argentina win over Russia

Manchester City’s striker scored the only goal of his nation’s 1-o victory over World Cup hosts Russia.

In a friendly match played in Moscow on Saturday, the future hosts of the World Cup were narrowly defeated by Argentina. The match was played on the 81.000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, that has recently been renovated and will host the World Cup final next year.

Argentina dominated the match from the beginning, with Lionel Messi the main attacking threat. Alongside him, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero were at the centre of most of the attacking plays of Jorge Sampaoli’s side.

In the 21st minute, Di Maria had the first meaningful chance for Argentina. Messi’s pass in the box found the PSG winger free, but his shot was parried away by Igor Akinfeev, who awarded the corner.

In the 24th minute, Aguero had the chance to open the score. His shot from outside the box was again dealt with by Akinfeev, who made a diving save. Towards the end of the half, the duel between the two was repeated, with the same outcome. Akinfeev denied Aguero again when the Argentine took a powerful shot from 11m out.

Just three minutes into the second half, Messi was very close to open the score. The Argentinian received a through ball from Aguero and tried a chip over Akinfeev, only to have the goal denied by a last minute clearance from the goal line of Konstantin Rausch.

Argentina continued to dominate the match and had most of the possession for the second half as well. Despite the constant pressure, Jorge Sampaoli’s men only managed to score the winning goal in the 86th minute.

Cristian Pavon dribbled down the right wing and sent a perfect low cross into the box, that found Aguero unmarked. Manchester City’s striker sent a first-time shot that was once again blocked by the Russian goalkeeper. But this time, Aguero was quick on the rebound and headed the ball into the back of the net.