Sport Soccer

Saturday 17 March 2018

Surprise hat-trick for Pavlyuchenko

Russia 3
Armenia 1

Roman Pavlyuchenko wasn't even supposed to start for Russia in St Petersburg, but Aleksander Kerzhakov's late injury proved a blessing in disguise as the Spurs striker hit a hat-rick.

Dick Advocaat's men didn't have it all their own way and it was Armenia who stunned the home crowd by taking an early lead.

Marcus Pizzelli's strike 25 minutes in put the visitors in front, the striker latching on to Yura Movsisyan's pass before beating Igor Akinfeev.

But they couldn't hold the lead as Pavluchenko marked his 40th cap by meeting Aleksander Anyukov's cross with a superb finish.

He grapped a second just after the break after Andrey Arshavin and Konstantin Zyryanov were involved in the build-up. And he completed his hat-trick with a penalty after Yuri Zhirkov was brought down in the box.

Irish Independent

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