The Bulls Crowned Their Series of Scrimmages with a Runaway Win

Exhibition game: FC Krasnodar – FC Anzhi Makhachkala – 4:1

FC Krasnodar – FC Anzhi Makhachkala – 4:1 (2:0)

Goals: Joãozinho, 24 (Ari, 1:0), Smolov, 37 (Ari, 2:0), Smolov, 73 (Wánderson, 3:0), Torbinski, 88 (Smolov, 4:0), Zhirov, 90+1 (Gazimagomedov, 4:1).

FC Krasnodar: Dykan (Sinitsyn, 61), Petrov, Granqvist, Sigurðsson, (Kaboré, 61), Kaleshin (Markov, 74), Ahmedov, Pereyra (Torbinski, 74), Mamayev (Podberyozkin, 74), Joãozinho (Wánderson, 67), Smolov, Ari (Bystrov, 74).

FC Anzhi Makhachkala: Pomazan (Dzhenetov, 46), Yeshchenko, Gadzhibekov (Lazić, 67), Zhirov, Tagirbekov, Agalarov, Mkrtchyan (Mayevsky), Moutari (Musalov, 54), Berisha (Dibirgadzhiyev, 74), Khadartsev (Gazimagomedov, 84), Boli.

Yellow cards: none.

Referees: Mazuela, Suarez, Rodriguez (all Spain).

12 February. Spain. Marbella. Marbella Football Center. Drizzle. 16 degrees. 300 spectators.

Just before the opening night in every theatre they usually make a dress rehearsal of the play to be performed. Theatre’s top management, the staff and sometimes close relatives and friends of the director and actors gather in the theatre hall, and such a run-through of the play is staged “for their own people” to test it, in a way, before it is shown to a public at large.

For FC Krasnodar the fixture vs. AC Sparta Prague is to become such an opening night of the season’s spring part, that’s why a clash with FC Anzhi ending the program of the winter scrimmages might me deemed as a real dress rehearsal, in a theatrical sense naturally. Even more so since the Club owner, Sergey Nikolayevich Galitsky, was observing the match from the stands of the Marbella Football Center along with all the top-management, while the live broadcast on the Club channel was watched by relatives of the players and coaches and, of course, supporters composing the team’s best friends and its integral part.

Ideally, during the dress rehearsal the actors on stage try to do their best displaying what they have managed to master throughout a long period of rehearsals. Football is often different. In contrast, the players tend to play it safer in order to minimize the chance of being injured and avoid spilling their potential ahead of time; they preserve both themselves and their powers for the first official match. One also shouldn’t forget about the football espionage, as there were definitely AC Sparta scouts present in the stands while the coaching staff of the Prague team was no doubt watching the FC Krasnodar vs. FC Anzhi scrimmage via Internet more closely than any black-green supporters could. Hence, there really was no use for Oleg Kononov and his players to reveal their trump cards for a time.

And they never did. Before the middle of the first half that game went in a rather slow tempo with both teams roughly equal on the pitch. It seemed though as if the attacks of the Krasnodar players had more sense, and those were more dangerous, too. On the 9th minute Joãozinho was about to score with a bent shot from a free-kick missing just barely. Five minutes later after another set piece execution Ari took a shot going off target by far even though he was all alone in front of the goal.

The Bulls scored an opener exactly in the middle of the first half. Their smashing attack turned out quick and ideally performed. Ahmedov found Ari behind the line of defense with a master pass from the depth of the field with the Brazilian making a cross along the goal-line. Joãozinho came rushing in failing to produce his best finishing shot, but the one that he did merely confused the keeper, so the ball rolled into the net anyway with Pomazan taking a dive in the wrong direction.

Having scored the first goal the Bulls pushed the tempo a bit, and their playing advantage immediately became even more tangible. Three minutes later Joãozinho was very close to scoring another one, but FC Anzhi keeper coped with his solid shot, not without difficulty though. Anyways, 10 more minutes passed, and the Makhachkala team was still forced to start from the middle of the pitch again. Mamayev threw the ball splendidly into the opposite penalty area, Ari avoided an off-side trap dropping the ball in one touch to Fyodor Smolov, and so the latter shot it past Pomazan at point-blank range.

A bit later Mamayev could have scored his second goal of the day with a bent shot, but the ball missed the bottom corner of the net just a fraction. Shortly after Ari took too long to handle the ball and wasted his chance to score after the same Mamayev had seen him to a one-on-one situation with the keeper.

In the beginning of the second half the Dagestan team barely missed shortening the gap a bit. A series of bounces after a corner kick resulted in a ball delivered directly to Zhirov as he was facing the goal on the 6-yard line, but FC Anzhi defender shot it high into the sky. Soon after the event the Krasnodar players took the control over the game anew, but it still could be seen that Oleg Kononov’s team was performing in a power-saving mode.

The game pace increased after FC Krasnodar boss had made a few substitutions in the middle of the second half. Wánderson entered the game just fine once again taking a direct part in the two goals that were scored. On the 73rd minute he received the ball from Pereyra and rolled it along the goal-line instead of taking a shot. All it was left to Fyodor Smolov was to avoid missing an empty goal. Another fifteen minutes later Wánderson and Smolov created a tricky combination from a free kick leaving all FC Anzhi defense out of wok while Dmitri Torbinski took a precise shot past the keeper from 12 meters.

To their credit, the Makhachkala players were still willing to score at least once until the very full-time, and they ultimately did it as late as in the injury time. The very tall Aleksandr Zhirov won the ball in the air after the corner kick had been served throwing it along a high arch precisely into the top corner of Sinitsyn’s domain.

4:1 as a result, and due to their superior class FC Krasnodar achieved a runaway victory in the final scrimmage of the training camps. The black-greens are spending four more days in Spain whereupon they will depart by a charter flight to the capital of Czech Republic for the UEFA Europa League fixture.