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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Impresses in Draw With Sweden

APRussia's Igor Semshov, right, battling Sweden's Tobias Alexanderson for the ball during their game on Wednesday in Moscow.
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an injury-time equalizer to earn his country a 1-1 friendly draw in Moscow on Wednesday, spoiling what would have been a winning start for new Russia coach Valery Gazzayev.

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Alexander Kerzhakov -- the Russian league's leading scorer this season -- had put the hosts ahead in the 56th minute when he beat Mattias Asper with a point-blank header after the Swedish goalkeeper fumbled Andrei Karyaka's shot from the edge of the box.

Gazzayev, in charge for the first time after he replaced Oleg Romantsev last month following Russia's dismal World Cup showing, will have been generally pleased with his side's showing.

Sweden, which was missing Barcelona defender Patrik Andersson, Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg and Aston Villa striker Marcus Allback with injuries, created little trouble for the Russian defense until Ajax striker Ibrahimovic struck in the final minute of stoppage time.

Before the game, the Russians honored their long-serving captain, Viktor Onopko, who was presented with a new $85,000 Porsche 911 in a sentimental ceremony attended by UEFA president Lennart Johansson.

Onopko, who turns 33 in two months, won his 100th international cap in a 3-2 defeat to Belgium on June 14 as his team crashed out of the World Cup in the first round.

Wednesday's game, the final warm-up for both teams before they begin their European Championship qualifying campaigns, was played amid tight security after a blast destroyed a five-story apartment building in Moscow the previous night.

In Euro 2004 qualifying, Russia opens at home to Ireland on Sept. 7, while Sweden, which lost in the second of the World Cup to Senegal, travels to Riga to face Latvia on the same day.