Sudden death

Russia stroll through

MOSCOW: Russia thrashed Kazakhstan 6-0 in a Euro 2008 warm-up at Lokomotiv’s 32,000-seater ground on Friday. Zenit St Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak opened the rout. His opener was followed by strikes from Vladimir Bystrov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Dmitry Torbinsky and Dmitry Sychev. The Kazakhs, after some tight defending, were unable to prevent Pogrebnyak’s opening goal from the spot in the 26th minute after Kazakhstan’s full back Kairat Nurdauletov handled the ball in his box. — AFP

Austria beat Cuba

LINDABRUNN: Austria beat Cuba 4-1 in a European Championship warmup game in an empty stadium on Friday. The unofficial match consisted of three periods of 35 minutes each without spectators or press attending. Sanel Kuljic’s header gave Austria the lead after 11 minutes, before Jaime Colome levelled the score for Cuba on a free kick nine minutes later. A penalty kick by Rene Aufhauser, a header by Erwin Hoffer and a long-range shot by Aufhauser completed Austria’s scoring. Austria plays Nigeria in an official friendly next Tuesday, one day before the definitive squad for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland has to be announced. — AP

Ribery plans big

CLAIREFONTAINE: Franck Ribery has a plan if France win the European Championship. He wants to keep the trophy. “I won’t do a lap of honour, I will take it home with me,” the 25-year-old winger joked on Friday. Ribery goes into Euro 2008 after an impressive first season with Bayern Munich that saw him score 18 goals and help the Bavarian club win a league and cup double. He’ll be ready for a repeat performance if France wins the June 7-29 tournament in Austria and Switzerland. “I hope things will continue like this, to keep winning,” Ribery said at France’s training camp. — AP

Kuhn in dilemma

LUGANO: Switzerland coach Jakob Kuhn faces a tactical dilemma about his striking options just two weeks before his side kick off the Euro 2008 against the Czech Republic. Whether to deploy a one or two-pronged attack is the quandary occupying Kuhn’s mind, though his hand may be forced by the options the 64-year-old has at his disposal. The withdrawal through injury of Blaise Nkufo has left the coach with only three recognised forwards. The good news is that Frei has returned to fitness and he may be tempted to play with a lone striker. — Agencies