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Russian Embassy trolls England

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Brazil, Russia set for pre-World Cup friendly in Moscow

Gabriel Jesus and Brazil ended Chile's World Cup hopes with a convincing 3-0 win in Sao Paulo.
Kyle Walker tweets a tribute to teammate Gabriel Jesus, a fan smuggles a pig into a match in Brazil and more in the Sweeper.
The FC crew examine the World Cup playoff draw in Europe and Italy's chances of qualifying for Russia.

Brazil will play Russia in March in a pre-World Cup friendly in Moscow.

The Brazilian soccer confederation says its Russian counterpart hasn't yet chosen a stadium for the March 23, 2018 match.

Brazil was the first team to qualify for the tournament in Russia. The five-time World Cup champions finished at the top of the CONMEBOL table and have yet to lose an official match under coach Tite, who took over last September.

Brazil will also play Japan, England and Germany in their preparations.

 By Chris Wright

Russian Embassy trolls England over World Cup 'surveillance' reports

The FA have reportedly told England players and staff travelling to the World Cup in Russia not to use public Wi-Fi to store sensitive information about tactics and injury issues as it may be susceptible to hacking attacks.

The Daily Star have since produced a paranoid story about England supposedly taking a dedicated surveillance team with them over fears that the host nation might resort to espionage to undermine the Three Lions' chances.

Rather brilliantly, this resulted in them being torn asunder...

Own goals doom South Korea in friendly defeat to Russia

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South Korea defender Kim Ju-Young conceded two own goals in three minutes as his team lost to Russia 4-2 in a friendly on Saturday.

Fyodor Smolov gave the hosts the lead in the 45th minute when he headed an Alexander Samedov corner off the ground and in. 

Kim turned the ball into his own net at a corner in the 55th minute to go 2-0 down, and seconds after the restart, he tried to cut out a pass from Alexander Yerokhin on the edge of the box, but it bounced off his foot and rolled into the bottom-right...

Russia salvage draw with Iran in friendly

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Russia salvaged a 1-1 draw in the 2018 World Cup hosts' friendly against Iran on Tuesday.

The game was played at a pedestrian pace in Moscow before Sardar Azmoun's 57th-minute opening goal for Iran, scored on a quick counterattack following a pass by Mehdi Taremi.

In response, the Russians took more risks and were rewarded in the 74th minute when Alexander Samedov found space down the right to cross for his fellow substitute Dmitry Poloz, who was left with a tap-in.

Russia could have scored an equaliser...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA happy with safety at extended Ekaterinburg Arena World Cup venue

The Ekaterinburg Arena, showing the extra seating behind one goal.

FIFA has said it is satisfied that World Cup 2018 venue the Ekaterinburg Arena meets all safety requirements after it was extended to meet capacity requirements.

Temporary seating has been built behind both goals, with the curtain walling of those sections of the stadium removed, in order to enable 35,000 people to watch the action there.

It means fans behind the goals will be sitting outside the structure of the upgraded 1950s building.

A FIFA spokesman said world football's governing body was...