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Saturday September 7, 2013 MYT 2:57:25 AM
Saturday September 7, 2013 MYT 2:57:46 AM
Teammates congratulate Russia's Alexander Kokorin (2nd L) after he scored against Luxembourg during their World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Central Stadium in Kazan September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexander Kokorin scored twice as Russia beat Luxembourg 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday to move ahead of Portugal for at least a few hours at the top of Group F.
Kokorin struck in the first minute after rain had delayed kickoff in Kazan by an hour, and the Anzhi Makhachkala forward headed home a Dmitri Kombarov free kick in the 35th minute to put Fabio Capello's side in charge before the break.
Alexander Kerzhakov added a third on the hour and Alexander Samedov wrapped up victory in stoppage time after Aurelien Joachim pulled one back for Luxembourg in the 90th minute.
The victory marked a return to form for the Russians after their 1-0 defeat in Northern Ireland last month and they are now a point ahead of Portugal, who take on Northern Ireland in Belfast later on Friday.
Luxembourg remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the group without a win in seven matches. Israel, who host Azerbaijan on Saturday, lie third on 11 points, four behind the Russians.
(Reporting By Thomas Grove; editing by Josh Reich)
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