Real Madrid Castilla forward Dennis Chérishev made his international debut on Wednesday when Fabio Capello brought him on for Russia against the USA in a friendly which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Chérishev made his first appearance for his country 20 years after his father Dmitri, the former Sporting Gijón player, played his first game for Russia, also against the USA, back in 1992.
Capello, who coached Real Madrid on two separate occasions, used the friendly to try out a few of his youngsters on the international stage, and see if they have got what it takes to play for Russia in the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, or in 2018, when Russia host the tournament.
The youngsters did not disappoint, and went straight for the jugular, with Fyodor Smólov opening the scoring after Kerzhakov had given hit the ball after taking advantage of a misunderstanding between Danny Williams and Carlos Bocanegra. Michael Bradley equalised for Jurgen Klinsmann's side on 76 minutes before a penalty by Roman Shirakov looked to have won the game for Russia. However, Mikkel Diskerud struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time to equalise for the Americans.
Chérishev was brought on by Capello to a standing ovation with just 10 minutes left but still managed to make his mark on the game, and had two chances to score, but both his efforts were saved by goalkeeper Tim Howard.
According to Russian football experts, Chérishev's international debut was long overdue, thanks to his brilliant performances at under-21 level, scoring six goals in 10 games, and it is widely believed that this will not be his last appearance in a Russia shirt.
The 21-year-old earned promotion from Segunda B to Segunda A last season with Castilla, and was involved in the Madrid first-team's preseason preparations this summer, and became the first Russian to play for the club.