“Football Match Report: Russia vs. Iraq – March 26, 2023”

Russia Claims Victory in International Friendly Against Iraq

After being suspended from global competitions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia played their first international match on home soil since November 2021. Iraq proved no match for the Russian side, who dominated possession and claimed a 2-0 victory.

The match saw Anton Miranchuk become a hero for Russia, scoring the opening goal shortly after half-time. Sergei Pinyaev then became Russia’s youngest ever goalscorer, grabbing a second in style, cutting in from the left and squeezing a low shot to the goalkeeper’s right.

Unstable Start for Russia

The hosts created a few chances in the first half, but failed to capitalise on them, leaving the score level at halftime. Goalkeeper Sergei Pesyakov looked shaky on the ball, almost gifting Iraq a goal twice with loose passes.

Despite this unstable start, Russia was able to dominate possession and create plenty of chances in the second half to secure their victory.

Suspension From Competitions

Both European football body UEFA and global football’s governing body FIFA decided in February 2022 that all Russian teams — national or club sides — would be suspended from their competitions following the invasion. This friendly match against Iraq was only the fourth match for Russia’s men since the invasion.

The 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.

If you’re a fan of LaLiga, Bundesliga, and more, you can catch them all with ESPN+. Stream matches from your favourite teams today.

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