The No. 93 Gets the Bulls Their Comeback Win on the 93rd Minute!

UEFA Europa League 2017/18. Third qualifying round. First leg. FC Krasnodar (Russia) 2-1 Lyngby BK (Denmark)

FC Krasnodar (Russia) 2-1 (0-0) Lyngby BK (Denmark)

Goals: Kjær, 64 (0-1), Claesson, 67 (1-1), Suleymanov, 90+3 (2-1).

FC Krasnodar (Russia): Sinitsyn, Yanbayev, Granqvist, Martynovich, Ristić, Shishkin (Suleymanov, 81), Pereyra, Joãozinho (Zhigulyov, 63), Wanderson, Claesson, Ignatyev (Ramírez, 46).

Lyngby BK (Kongens Lyngby, Denmark): Andersen, Brandrup, Guldborg Christensen, Lund Jensen, Lumb, Christjansen (Hebo, 84), Ørnskov, Boysen, Blume (Fosgaard, 86), R. Jensen, Kjær (Larsen, 81).

Yellow cards: Yanbayev, 73 (unsporting behaviour) – Brandrup, 34 (attack breakdown)

Referees: Nicolaides, Charalambous, Georgiou (all Cyprus).

27 July 2017. Krasnodar. FC Krasnodar Stadium. Clear. 30 degrees. 20 233 spectators.

It seems FC Krasnodar boss Igor Shalimov has already become accustomed to the complications with his lineup, so he doesn’t pay them much regard. The team approached the match against the Lyngby Boldklub with yet another list of unavailable players. Kaboré had to serve a suspension he received in the final game of the Bulls in the UEFA Europa League last season. The new forward Ivan could not play as he was signed by the Club after the entry form for the UEL third qualifying round had been filed. Some other players had to miss the clash with the Vikingerne due to injuries of various kinds. These problems did not prevent the head coach of the black-greens from employing an active squad rotation however. The new team members Yanbayev and Ristic were fielded as full-backs and thus made their first appearance with the Bulls in the official fixtures. Joãozinho joined the starting eleven in a rather unnatural position in the central midfield. Finally, the 18-year-old youngster of the Club Academy, Ivan Ignatyev, was sent to the attack spearhead early in game thanks to his accomplishments last year as the top scorer of the Russian Youth Premier League and a brace he scored for the Krasnodar U-21 team in an MD 2 game against FC Tosno players of the same age. Ignatyev became the third player this season who assumed the striker’s position with the first team of the Bulls.

The Danish team showed no signs of timidity once the kick-off whistle was blown, as if they had been playing all their lives at the huge arenas akin to FC Krasnodar Stadium in the unbearably hot weather like tonight. They launched a few aggressive attacks earning a free kick on the 10th minute that was executed by Boysen who shook the goalpost of Sinitsyn’s domain with his screamer. It did not take long for the home team to strike back though, as one and a half minutes later Claesson could have totally scored when he burst inside the Lyngby box through the inside left position. The goalie was able to redirect the Swede’s mighty shot to a corner kick.

The attacking double-edged type of football went on, and on the 19th minute Ignatyev of FC Krasnodar was very close to success. The young player met a cross by Yanbayev, won an aerial duel and missed just a tiny fraction with his shot into the second corner. De kongeblå proceeded with a riposte immediately. Christjansen attempted a header from twelve meters and missed the target, too.

Mid through the first half the referee sent both teams for a water break, and once it was over FC Krasnodar finally got a full hold of the initiative. Joãozinho, Yanbayev, Wanderson and Claesson arrived to the shooting positions one at a time, but their shots lacked either accuracy or, in Joãozinho’s case, strength. Wanderson earned a most prospective free kick for his team with his individual raid towards the opposite goal, but the ball that Pereyra shot from 17 meters missed its target just barely. With a single minute of the time additional to the first half underway, the Danish team were able to launch a counterattack, so Martynovich the centre-back had to throw himself flat against the turf to block Christjansen’s shot with his chest.

Igor Shalimov released Ramírez instead of Ignatyev for the second half, but this fielding of a defender instead of a striker did not in the least mean switching to a more defensive formation. The Ecuadorian player made an appearance as the left-back, while Ristić moved from the named position to the midfield, Joãozinho shifted to the right flank of attack and Claesson now had to act at the spear point. All these alterations had no positive effect though. On the contrary, the attacking actions of the Bulls lost their sharpness, and on the 54th minute the away team repelled one of those and went as far as retaliating with a super dangerous counterattack. Fortunately for the black-greens, they avoided a major drama thanks to hesitating actions on behalf of Kjær and his inaccurate finishing.

Once this episode was over, the visitors pushed their attack aggressiveness switch into a more intensive mode, so Sinitsyn now had to enter the game more than once in order to parry shots bearing various threat levels. And yet, on the 64th minute a corner kick finally allowed Lyngby BK to score an opener. The ball began thrashing about the Krasnodar penalty area after the serve, and the tiny Jeppe Kjær proved to be the most efficient one there as he pushed it into the net at short range. Fortunately for the Bulls, they recovered themselves quickly enough scoring an equalizing goal as early as three minutes later. Wanderson took a solid shot from outside the box; Andersen the keeper was able to repel the ball, but Victor Claesson left everyone behind for a second attempt and finished it.

A more than 20-thousand-strong crowd of supporters, which had gathered this hot evening in the stands, was driving the black-greens forward wildly, but the visitors were in no mood to hole up in defense either. Igor Shalimov made two more subs throwing the young Zhigulyov and Suleymanov into the fray. The fiery trade of attacks went on for a while, but then starting from the 80th minute the Bulls finally pressed the away team tight against their own goal. On one occasion Pereyra fired an aimed shot; the Danish keeper was able to reach to the ball making it hit the goalpost and bounce back into the field of play. A bit later Suleymanov had another chance, but he missed the target from a few meters with his shot on the run after receiving a pass by Claesson.

When it seemed Lyngby was about to leave Krasnodar with an honorable tie (and a rather prospective one considering the total two-match confrontation), the Bulls finally managed to snatch a win away. This one was achieved at the death, with the last third minute of an injury time almost over, by the young player of the Club Academy with a No. 93 on his back. A shot by Wanderson after a corner kick hit some defender, and Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov drove the rebounded ball on the run from 14 meters precisely into the second corner of Andersen’s domain. The sound of the full-time whistle was drowned in the victory cry of the stands.

During his pre-match press-conference the Danish manager David Nielsen declared that for his team FC Krasnodar represented a fearsome fire-breathing dragon, but at the same time his players were not at all afraid of it and knew some tricks to use in a fight against it. By virtue of Hans Christian Andersen Denmark is well-known worldwide for its fairy-tales, and many of those enjoy a happy-ending. So far the story of brave Vikings fighting the Dragon Bull from the south of Russia has been taking shape that does not favor the Northerners. Be that as it may, the matter of the clash will be resolved in its second part to be staged in one week in Denmark. The second leg game is promising to be no less fiery than the one tonight, and it will decide once and for all which team will advance further.