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World Cup 2022 qualifiers: Russia beats Slovenia 2-1; Turkey snatches win in Latvia

Russia defenders Igor Diveyev and Georgy Dzhikiya netted first half goals to secure a 2-1 win away to Slovenia in a World Cup qualifier on Monday and took the visitor top of Group H.

Diveyev opened the scoring with a header off a free-kick that flew past Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the 28th minute. Four minutes later, Dzhikiya scored with an impressive left-footed bicycle kick to increase Russia’s lead.

READ: Depay double helps Netherlands thrash Gibraltar

Slovenia quickly responded with a low strike by Josip Ilicic that beat goalkeeper Matvei Safonov in the 40th minute.

The win leaves Russia with 19 points from eight games, two points ahead of Croatia, which drew 2-2 at home to Slovakia. Slovenia is third in the group with 10 points.

Turkeys beats Latvia 2-1 with last-gasp penalty

Turkey snatched a 2-1 win against Latvia on Monday as Burak Yilmaz scored from the penalty spot deep into injury time to revive their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

The victory left it four points behind Group G leader Netherlands and two points behind Norway with two matches left to play.

READ: Croatia loses ground after 2-2 draw with Slovakia

Host Latvia took the lead in the 70th minute when Turkey’s Merih Demiral fired into his own net while attempting to clear a cross from Roberts Savalnieks. Serdar Dursun equalised for Turkey in the 75th minute when he headed in a cross from Cengiz Under.

Turkey dominated possession throughout, with Latvia repeatedly looking to hit back on the counter attack. The host looked to have held on until Yilmaz was brought down in the penalty area in the ninth minute of injury time.

After consulting VAR, the referee pointed to the spot and Yilmaz fired the ball into the net to seal the victory.

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