Slovakia's stoch rises
Miroslav Stoch scored midway through the first half to give Slovakia a valuable 1-0 away victory over Russia and the early initiative in Group B.
Stoch capitalised on a Russian defensive mistake in the 27th minute and fired brilliantly past Igor Akinfeev into the top right corner of the net. It was the visitors' first shot on goal in the match.
The win gives Slovakia six points after two games following an opening win over Macedonia.
Russia dominated the game at the Lokomotiv Stadium and Igor Semshov tested Jan Mucha.
The hosts had Konstantin Zyryanov's goal disallowed for offside in the 48th minute and Andrey Arshavin missed a clear chance in the 56th minute, shaving the right post with a low close-range shot.
Russia coach Dick Advocaat made three substitutions to reinforce the attack as Russia pressed for an equaliser, forcing 'keeper Mucha to make several crucial saves.
Russia's next game will be on the road in Dublin while Slovakia travel to Armenia.