Two own goals from Finland gifted Russia a 3-0 European Zone 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa qualifying victory on Wednesday.
Own goals from Petri Pasanen and Veli Lampi virtually decided this Group Four fixture though a Russia player did eventually manage to get on the scoresheet when Zenit star Andrei Arshavin added a late strike.
Russia came into the match looking rusty and made a number of errors though they had a couple of goal-scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes. Finland were looking solid in defence however with keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen untroubled early on.
Things changed for Finland in the 23rd minute however when full-back Pasanen, under pressure from fit-again Pavel Pogrebnyak, inadvertantly knocked the ball into his own net after Jaaskelainen deflected Yury Zhirkov's shot from seven metres.
Russia, boosted by the goal, continued to push forward but the could not find their scoring touch in the penalty area and failed to add to the scoreline before the break.
In the second half, Russia, spurred on by a 25,000 home crowd, seized the initiative again and created more chances though they could still not find that last touch to get their second goal.
Midway through the half, Lampi obliged them by sending the ball into his own net when he tried to stop Konstantin Zyryanov's short cross from the left.
Arshavin finalised the scoring with two minutes remaining, sending the ball into an empty net after a good piece of individual work.