Leonid Slutski wins debut as Russia coach in victory over Sweden
Russia beat Sweden 1-0 in Moscow to give new coach Leonid Slutski a winning start and breathed new hope into their Euro 2016 Group G campaign.
Slutski, Russia's first home-grown head coach since March 2006, is set to work for free until the qualifiers are over after taking charge following the departure of Fabio Capello, and there was a positive atmosphere around the Otkeytie Arena as the home side started brightly.
Russia had the ball in the net after just seven minutes, but captain Roman Shirokov's effort was ruled offside by English referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistants.
The hosts continued to press and eventually took the lead with a well-worked goal on 38 minutes, Artem Dzyuba converting after a positive run down the right from defender Igor Smolnikov and a clever backheel by Shirokov.
Sweden were forced to make a change for the second half following an apparent injury to captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Despite the loss of their talisman forward, the visitors rallied, and Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had to make some important saves to first deny Emil Forsberg on the hour and then during the closing stages turn over an angled effort from Marcus Berg.
Russia remained dangerous on the break, as Aleksandr Kokorin saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line by Norwich defender Martin Olsson.
The Dynamo Moscow forward then lifted the ball over the bar from close range before deep into stoppage time, Akinfeev saved his team again when getting down to push away a low 18-yard effort from Forsberg which was creeping into the bottom left corner.
Russia remain in third place, but are now only one point behind Sweden.