View gallery Azerbaijan’s Qara Qarayev (R) fights for the ball with Russia’s Aleksei Kozlov during their 2014 World MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia clinched a place in the 2014 World Cup finals with a 1-1 draw away to Azerbaijan on Tuesday thanks to an early goal from Roman Shirokov that secured top spot in Group F and consigned Portugal to the playoffs. Fabio Capello’s Russia, who have not reached the World Cup since 2002, led from the 15th minute when Shirokov found himself one-on-one with keeper Kamran Agayev following Alexander Samedov’s through ball. Shirokov feinted to shoot and as Agayev dropped to one knee the quick-thinking forward steered the ball inside the post. “Today was a good match. We had numerous moments to excel but at times we were not lucky, at times the goalkeeper played very well. The Azeri team had one chance, and they used it,” Russian wire Itar-Tass quoted Capello as saying. Azerbaijan had Maksim Medvedev sent off in the 73rd minute after a tackle on Shirokov but managed to equalize when Vagif Javadov headed past Igor Akinfeev in the 90th minute. However, the visitors, who will host the 2018 World Cup finals, held on to secure a ticket to next year’s tournament in Brazil with 22 points from 10 matches, one point above second-placed Portugal who can still qualify via next month’s playoffs. The Russians, who dominated the game and would have scored more goals but for Agayev who saved eight attempts on target, were booed and pelted with rubbish at the end of the match at Baku’s 8 KM stadium until the Azeri players signaled for calm. (Reporting by Thomas Grove; editing by Ken Ferris) Soccer
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 | Posted: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 Russia detains suspect in slaying linked to riots Related View Larger Police officers detain a protester in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Police launched an arrest at subway station “Prague” where nationalists have called to gather citizens. Police stepped up patrols throughout the city on Tuesday to prevent a repeat of 2010 riots, when thousands of nationalists and soccer fans protested the killing of an ethnic Russian during a fight between soccer fans and men from the Caucasus. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin) View Larger Police officers detain a protester in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Police launched an arrest at subway station “Prague” where nationalists have called to gather citizens. Police stepped up patrols throughout the city on Tuesday to prevent a repeat of 2010 riots, when thousands of nationalists and soccer fans protested the killing of an ethnic Russian during a fight between soccer fans and men from the Caucasus. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)
The Russia Left Behind
Petersburg and Moscow. At the edges of Russias two great cities, another Russia begins. This will not be apparent at next years Winter Olympics in Sochi, nor is it visible from the German-engineered high-speed train. It is along the highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg a narrow 430-mile stretch of road that is a 12-hour trip by car that one sees the great stretches of Russia so neglected by the state that they seem drawn backward in time. As the states hand recedes from the hinterlands, people are struggling with choices that belong to past centuries: to heat their homes with a wood stove, which must be fed by hand every three hours, or burn diesel fuel, which costs half a months salary? When the road has so deteriorated that ambulances cannot reach their home, is it safe to stay? When their home cant be sold, can they leave? Clad in rubber slippers, his forearms sprinkled with tattoos, Mr. Naperkovsky is the kind of plain-spoken mans man whom Russians would call a muzhik. He had something he wanted to pass on to Mr. Putin, who has led Russia during 13 years of political stability and economic expansion. The people on the top do not know what is happening down here, he said. They have their own world. They eat differently, they sleep on different sheets, they drive different cars. They dont know what is going on here.