Bilyaletdinov gives Russia 2-1 win over Slovenia

Moscow: A double by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov powered Russia to a 2-1 win over Slovenia in the first leg of their World Cup playoff on Saturday.

Bilyaletdinov put the home team ahead in the 40th minute when he took a pass from Roman Pavlyuchenko just inside the penalty box, turned neatly past Slovenia defender Marko Suler and fired a right-footed shot into the top corner.

The Everton winger doubled the lead seven minutes into the second half, beating Slovenia keeper Samir Handanovic from close range with his second attempt following a good work by captain Andrei Arshavin.

Substitute Nejc Pecnik gave the Slovenians what could prove a crucial away goal before the return leg in Maribor on Wednesday when he headed into an empty goal after Russia keeper Igor Akinfeyev stopped Milivoje Novakovic`s drive with two minutes remaining.

Bureau Report