Argentina's Sergio Aguero controls the ball during an international friendly football match against Russia at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on November 11. -AFP
A late goal from Sergio Aguero unlocked a stubborn Russian defence on Saturday as Argentina won 1-0 in the ground that will stage the World Cup final next year.The goal by the Manchester City forward gave the South Americans a deserved win at Moscow's renovated 81,000-capacity Luzhniki stadium.
"We came here to play against a very disciplined and organized side," Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said. "We made some mistakes in the first half but in the second we improved. We played a very intense game. "The things we've planned did work. We played in a bold, direct manner." The coach singled out Aguero for his performance.
"Aguero played very well," Sampaoli said. "He understood the philosophy of the game and was very active even though he didn't have much space." Argentina, orchestrated by Lionel Messi, seized the initiative early on. Their first meaningful chance came in the 21st minute when Angel Di Maria received Messi's pass in the area but Russian 'keeper Igor Akinfeev parried his low shot for a corner. Three minutes later, Aguero forced Akinfeev into a diving save to deny his attempt from just outside the box.
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