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MOSCOW: Alexander Kerzhakov scored early as Russia edged out Portugal 1-0 to earn their third consecutive win at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign under Fabio Capello yesterday.
Kerzhakov struck in the sixth minute after breaking clear on goal following some quick one-touch passing featuring his Zenit St Petersburg team mates Viktor Faizulin and Roman Shirokov.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was a constant threat at the other end, having recovered from a shoulder injury sustained on Sunday while playing for his club Real Madrid, but did not get clear chances.
The Russians top Group F with nine points following wins over Northern Ireland and Israel last month while Portugal stayed in second place.
On Tuesday Russia take on Azerbaijan while Portugal face Northern Ireland. AFP