TRNAVA, Slovakia (Reuters) - A late Robert Mak strike gave Slovakia a 2-1 win against Russia on Tuesday in their World Cup Group H qualifier as the home side soaked up late pressure from the visitors to hang on for the victory.
Milan Skriniar put the hosts in front in the 38th minute when the Inter Milan defender slipped his marker and headed home after connecting with a Mak corner.
Russia -- who will be without Rifat Zhemaletdinov in their next match against Croatia after he picked up a yellow card - drew level in the 71st minute after Mario Fernandes scooped a rebound into the net.
But Mak netted the winner three minutes later when he latched onto a Tomas Hubocan pass inside the penalty area before beating a pair of Russian defenders and driving the ball past Russia keeper Anton Shunin.
Russia are level on six points with Croatia at the top of Group H while Slovakia are a point behind. In the other group matches Croatia cruised past Malta 3-0 while Cyprus beat Slovenia 1-0.
(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Toby Davis)