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By Ori Lewis
TEL AVIV, Sept 11 Impressive Russia made it two
2014 World Cup qualifying wins from two under Fabio Capello
after Alexander Kerzhakov scored twice in a 4-0 Group F
demolition of Israel on Tuesday.
Russia, criticised at home for not scoring more in their 2-0
win over Northern Ireland in Moscow on Friday, produced an
assured and clinical performance on a warm, humid night in Tel
Kerzhakov scored his first from a free kick after seven
minutes and fellow striker Alexander Kokorin doubled the lead 11
Kerzhakov broke free of Israel's disorganised defence to
slot home his second on 64 and substitute Victor Fayzulin was
left unmarked to complete the rout with a close-range volley.
"We started outstandingly and we made it difficult for
Israel to get back into the game ... I am really happy because
we are on six points and have scored six goals. We need to play
more games but the confidence of the team is improving and also
the quality of the players is very good," said Italian Capello,
appointed in July to replace Dick Advocaat.
He said he was worried by injuries players suffered during
the match, including one to midfielder Vladimir Bystrov who went
down after a clash of heads with Israeli defenders Tal Ben Haim
and Yoav Ziv as the second goal was scored.
Israel's defeat was one of the worst they have suffered at
home in the past two decades and has dealt a severe blow to
their qualification hopes for Brazil 2014 after they managed a
1-1 draw against Azerbaijan in Baku on Friday.
It marked a continued bad run for Israel's new coach, Eli
Guttman who has yet to win any game since taking over last
December, having lost four matches and drawn two. It was also
their worst start to a qualifying campaign since 1994.
"We played against a great team that showed excellent
teamwork, we can only learn from the way they played. Our
players tried their best but Russia are better than us and
deserved to win, although the 4-0 scoreline is not justified,"
(Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Justin Palmer)