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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Scrapes to a Draw

TEL AVIV -- Russia could only manage a 1-1 draw with Israel in their bid for a place in the 1998 World Cup finals.

But the result Wednesday still left Russia at the top of group five.

The Israelis were initially a little overawed by the occasion and national expectations, which had been heightened by the 2-1 win over Bulgaria.

Russia were faster and stronger in the first half, but excellent defending by Israel's Felix Halfon, Gadi Brumer and Amir Shelah kept Russian striker Dmitry Radchenko and winger Andrei Kanchelskis at bay.

At the other end, Russian goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov had little to do before the interval.

But Israel got over their jitters and showed themselves more imaginative and skilful as they seized every opportunity to attack in the second half.

Brumer put Israel ahead in the 64th minute, hitting a powerful free-kick from the edge of the penalty box, leaving Cherchesov helpless to prevent the ball from going into the back of the net.

Russia prevented an embarrassing defeat by equalizing in the 79th minute when the Israeli defense was caught badly off guard following an injury to Halfon.

Vladimir Beschastnykh moved in on the left, passed the ball to Valery Karpin, who in turn set up a perfect opportunity for Igor Kolyvanov to score.

France 4, Turkey 0. Barcelona defender Laurent Blanc inspired France to a 4-0 victory over Turkey in a friendly international.

Blanc, brilliant in defense and attack, made a run through the middle in the 33rd minute to take a superb high ball from captain Didier Deschamps and chip over goalkeeper Rustu Recber.

Less than two minutes later, Youri Djorkaeff turned to lob an equally fine ball into the path of Marseille midfielder Reynald Pedros, who brought it down brilliantly with his left foot and lobbed the advancing keeper with the same boot.

Zinedine Zidane and winger Robert Pires scored to wrap it up for the French.