The Russians - who forfeited their place in the World Cup this season by refusing to play the Chilean side in the stadium used to house political prisoners - are currently touring Latin American with their Touring National Soviet Soccer Team.
The Russians - who forfeited their place in the World Cup this season by refusing to play the Chilean side in the stadium used to house political prisoners - are currently touring Latin American with their Touring National Soviet Soccer Team. In a friendly match against a Bolivian side - "The Strongest" of La Paz - they tied one-one, playing in the Bolivian National Stadium in La Paz on Saturday (December 8).
The game was unspectacular and there were no outstanding highlights other than the two scorers - both in the first half. Russian Left Forwar Onischeko opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, and Bolivia's Juan Americo Diaz equalised one-and-a-half-minutes later. From then on there was little left to the match.
In the second half, the Soviets fielded several substitutes, but this made little difference to the quality of their game. The home team, on the other hand, took little advantage of the altitude (11,910 feet - 3.631 metres) - which must certainly have affected the visitors.
The only real excitement came in the final seconds, when Russian Forward Anatoli Schepel managed to shoot past Bolivian Goalkeeper Luis Galarza - only to have the goal disallowed because a team-mate had handled the ball.
SYNOPSIS: In the Bolivian Capital of La Paz on Saturday, December eight, the home team - known as "The Strongest" - warm up with a visiting side: the Touring National Soviet Soccer Team. The Russians - in plain shirts - took the kickoff playing left to right. Although the visitors had been tipped as the stronger contenders - and they did show promise in the opening minutes - they never really lived up to their reputation as an aggressive and decided side. The tour has followed the Russian forfeiture of their place in the current qualification for the World Cup - when they refused to play the Chilean team in the Santiago stadium which has been used as a political prison.
As soon as they realised that their opponents were not the formidable side they had expected, the Bolivians took courage and pressed the attack. But even they did not make full profit from one of their main advantages - the fact that they were fully acclimatized to an altitude of nearly twelve-thousand feet above sea level...and their play was little more than average, with several missed chances.
The score was opened by Russia's Left Forward Onischeko in the forty-third minute - but the lead was short-lived, with Bolivia's Diaz equalising one-and-a-half minutes later. From then on there was nothing much left to the game - with neither side showing any inspiration.
In the second half, the Russians fielded several substitutes - but this made no difference to the game. And the only moment that came close to bringing the sixteen-thousand strong crowd to its feet, came in the final seconds - when Russia managed to score...only to have the winning point disallowed for handling.