A Win for the Norwegians, an Invaluable Experience for the Young Bulls

Friendly match. FC Krasnodar 0-3 Kristiansund BK (Norway)

FC Krasnodar 0-3 (0-1) Kristiansund BK (Norway

Goals: Stokke, 4, penalty kick (0-1), Stokke, 54, (0-2), Amidou Diop, 82 (0-3).

FC Krasnodar (Russia): Kritsyuk, Yanbayev, Martynovich, Nazarov, Kalinin (Spertsyan, 46), Shishkin, Joãozinho, Kurazhov, Wanderson (Kotov, 64), Ivan, Kutovoi.

Kristiansund BK (Norway): McDermott, Aasbak, D. Ulvestad, Coly, Sørmo (Bjerkås, 68), Hopmark (Lepistu, 46), Aasmundsen (Bye, 64), Gjertsen (Amidou Diop, 64), Kalludra (Sivertsen, 64), Bamba (Sørli, 70), Stokke (Rønningen, 84).

Yellow card: Kotov, 72 (attack breakdown).

Referees: Martinez, Perez, De Buyser (all Spain).

20 February 2018. Spain. Marbella. Dama de Noche Stadium. Clear. 16 degrees. 100 spectators.

On 22 February, in the last friendly match of the training camp against the top club of Norway, Rosenborg BK, Igor Shalimov is going to field his best lineup. That’s why in order to test his squad today, two days prior to the named scrimmage, against the seventh team of the same country’s 2017 Eliteserien, FC Krasnodar boss used the other players at his disposal. They either had missed the previous game with Molde FK completely or had spent no more than one half on a field of play. Among them were the two young players of the FC Krasnodar Academy, Nazarov and Kurazhov, Romanian striker Ivan (he had barely recovered from an injury and had had only a single full training session with the team) and Joãozinho who had been sick with a fever just a day before.

There was an initial reticence in the way this experimental lineup was acting directly after the kick-off. This led to a penalty kick ordered against the Kritsyuk’s goal as early as on the 3rd minute. Kalinin failed to contain an opponent on the flank at first and then proceeded with bringing him down in the very penalty area. The PK was executed by Benjamin Stokke who took a firm shot with no chance for the keeper to save it.

The Bulls then overlooked a few more dangerous lunges of the KBK (who had in fact fielded their best squad), but as the time went the black-greens gradually settled down. The game became more or less equal, and starting from the 25th minute FC Krasnodar began displaying some territorial advantage. Mid through the first half Kurazhov got ahead to the ball splendidly after a cross by Ivan from the right, but he missed the top corner of the Kristiansund goal just barely. Somewhat later their Irish goalie McDermott also coped with an aimed shot by Joãozinho.

The first half thus ended with a minimal lead of the Norwegian team. In the second half two very young 17-year-old Academy-trained players, Spertsyan and Kotov, made an appearance with the Bulls. The two youngsters had never been fielded in the official games before, even for the Krasnodar U-21 teams. Now the former came in during the interval and the latter fifteen minutes after the game had resumed. An unlucky loss of ball by Nazarov next to his own box on the 55th minute turned into the second goal the Bulls let in. It was scored by that same Benjamin Stokke. The KBK also scored the third one in the counterattack at the death thanks to a precise finishing by the freshly-fielded Amidou Diop.

However, the performance of the Bulls was by no means inferior to the one of their opponents, and they even controlled the ball better than them occasionally. This was despite the fact that the attacking line of the Russian team was composed of five very young players. To make things worse, Joãozinho played today in an alien position in the central midfield acting more as a tutor for the youngsters. Kristiansund did surpass FC Krasnodar in some areas, namely in experience and physical power, and these two factors actually proved the most decisive ones and brought victory to the Norwegian collective. The main benefit for our Club though was an invaluable experience received by the young Academy players.