2018 World Cup hosts Russia overcame Ghana 1-0 in an international friendly in Moscow on Tuesday.
Fedor Smolov scored in the 20th minute to hand the side their first win under new coach Stanislav Cherchesov.
Coach Avram Grant named a strong Ghanaian line-up, which included the likes of Jordan Ayew, John Boye, Christian Atsu and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.
Smolov scored his sixth goal for his country after playing a one-two with Alexander Samedov and sending a fierce drive through the legs of goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.
The Black Stars enjoyed an encouraging start to the game, but were unable to capatalise on the chances created by Atsu. Grant’s men however looked off the pace for long periods of the first half.
Russia looked fluid going forward and Alan Dzagoev, who missed Euro 2016 through injury, had a decent chance to double his side’s lead before halftime, but shot straight at Kwarasey.
Smolov also had an opportunity in the second half to extend his team’s lead, but the Ghana goalkeeper managed to get an important touch to deny the Krasnodar forward a clean shot at goal.
Igor Akinfeev, who made his 92nd appearance to become the country’s most capped goalkeeper, made a good save at his near post late on to deny Christian Atsu’s goalbound shot, as Russia held on for victory.
The friendly served as a preparation for the Black Stars ahead of their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifying games beginning in October.