CSKA mercilessly punished “Nizhny” for blunders in defense. But one change changed everything.
Another impressive comeback in the Russian Championship! Draw for Zenit.
Nizhny played at home for the first time this season, while CSKA played away. From the paired trip to Mikhail Galaktionov’s native Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod returned with mixed feelings: satisfaction with a draw with Lokomotiv was replaced by annoyance from a major defeat in Khimki. They managed to drown it out on their field – with an impressive comeback.
Despite a terrible blunder in the Moscow region, the hosts’ coach left goalkeeper Nigmatullin at the base (“We support him, but the chain of failures must be corrected”). The composition of “NN” took on a more international look: the Russians Stotsky and Berkovsky were replaced at the start by the Uzbek Yuldoshev and the only Angolan Milson in the whole league.
Vladimir Fedotov had no reason to rotate after two dry victories – he did not invent anything. CSKA entered the field for the third round in a row in one combination – even with a footnote to the results, amazing constancy. Of the two newcomers, Fedotov included only Serb Zdelar in the application. The Chilean defensive midfielder Mendes rolled into Nizhny as a tourist – they did not have time to declare by the third round.
Poor Nigmatullin from the start started catching flashbacks from Khimki. Kornyushin was the first to frighten his own goalkeeper with a careless back pass. The happiness of the owners that Chalov tightened with a blow and still missed the target. Okay Kornyushin – the young defender played only the sixth match in the RPL. But Nigmatullin hardly expected such a set-up from the highly experienced captain Gotsuk. The Muscovites did not forgive the opponent for the second roughest cut in a quarter of an hour. Mukhin, with amazing grace for a player of his profile, cut the ball with the outside of the foot on Chalov, and on the second attempt, Fedor hit it right – in opposition to the goalkeeper, exactly in the corner.
The effective blunder, apparently, upset Gotsuk so much that in the first half he was seriously mistaken twice more. The short Kuchaev managed to win air from the tall Nizhny Novgorod captain and doubled the score by closing Gayich’s canopy. And after Gotsuk’s risky kick back, Nigmatullin had to fly out of the penalty area like a fire and take the ball out with his head, and after a couple of seconds – to catch it already near the goal after the “parachute” from Oblyakov.
The third goal of CSKA, again by Chalov, was annulled by the judge Meshkov before the break. Forward with violation picked out the ball from the hands of Nigmatullin.
Trouble-free first half dulled the vigilance of the army. And the measures taken by Galaktionov had an effect. From the start of the second half, the Nizhny Novgorod team began to play more aggressively, and most importantly, more collected. The replacement worked: Suleymanov, full of energy, scored as soon as he jumped onto the field. We fix the first goal missed by Fedotov CSKA. Yuldoshev thanked the coach for his trust with a productive pass.
The same Suleymanov with Milson together turned another attack with a claim for a goal. And here the Muscovites were lucky that the attacker let the ball close to the post. Perhaps Akinfeev’s decisive throw at his feet confused the attacker.
And yet, the frantic Suleimanov played for a double. After the canopy of another replacement man, Stotsky, Timur famously hit his head – Akinfeev didn’t even jump: it’s useless.
A fresh army striker, Zabolotny, did not use his chance. CSKA loses two points, and with them the chance for first place. Now there is Zenit again – according to additional indicators.