Russian players and officials have said that they are pleased with the draw that pitched the national team against Slovenia in European Zone play-offs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

"There were no weak opponents in the draw but now I believe we can clinch a place in the finals," said Alexei Sorokin, head of the Russian Football Federation.

Dynamo Moscow's international striker Alexander Kerzhakov said that drawing Slovenia meant Russia had missed out on facing a bigger team.

"We've got a favourable draw," Kerzhakov said. "I don't know much about Slovenian team but I think we managed to avoid a bigger challenge."

CSKA Moscow and Russia international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev added: "I was ready to play against any of possible opponents as any of them deserve respect.

"I hope that our players will be in top form for the play-off matches and will play at full strength to qualify for the finals. I wanted to start the play-offs with an away match but the choice was done and we will start at home."