Football Confederations Cup: Chile-Russia friendly ends in 1:1 draw

MOSCOW – Chile and Russia played a 1:1 draw in Moscow on Friday ahead of this year’s football Confederation’s Cup.

The game was the first in the recent history of Russian and Chilean teams. Last time the national teams played in September 1973 in a 1974 World Cup qualifier. The first one ended in a scoreless draw.

A return game was scheduled for November 1973, but the USSR refused to play on the National Stadium in Santiago, because just several days before that the sports facility gained notoriety as a prison camp and torture facility following a government coup. Chile were awarded a technical victory.

Chile’s coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said the result of the match with Russia looked natural to him. “In the first half the team controlled the ball. We knew the rival’s defense was very good. In the second half Alexis Sanches appeared on the pitch after substitution and we managed to score shortly after that. The result of the match was natural. We keep training for the Confederations Cup,” Pizzi said.

Cherchesov was appointed chief coach last autumn. The national team he leads has since played friendlies with Hungary (3:0), Belgium (3:3), Cote d’Ivoir (0:2), Romania (1:0), Qatar (1:2), Costa Rica (3:4), Ghana (1:0) and Turkey (0:0).

The game with Chile was Russia’s last test of strength ahead of the Confederations Cup. Saturday will be a day off. On Sunday, the team will gather again for more training and on June 15 it will leave for the first group match vs New Zealand in St. Petersburg.

Russia will host the Confederations Cup on June 17 – July 2. In Group A Russia will play New Zealand in St. Petersburg on June 17, Portugal in Moscow on June 21 and Mexico in Kazan on June 24. Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon are in Group B. Two pairs of the best teams identified in the group tournaments will then clash in the semi-finals.

The Confederations Cup’s final match is due in St. Petersburg on July 2.