A Unfortunate Rebound Proved Decisive in an Opening Match of the Season

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Russian Premier League 2019/20. MD 1. FC Akhmat Grozny 1-0 FC Krasnodar

FC Akhmat Grozny 1-0 (1-0) FC Krasnodar

Goal: Berisha, 28 (Utsiyev, 1-0).

Missed penalty: Berisha, 10 (goalkeeper).

FC Akhmat Grozny: Gorodov, Utsiyev, Nižić, Semyonov, Wilker (Szymański, 46), Shvets, Kharin, Ivanov, Ismael (Roshi, 87), Berisha, Mbengue (Ponce, 84).

FC Krasnodar: Safonov, Petrov (Ramírez, 56), Spajić, Martynovich, Stotsky, Kambolov, Olsson (Ignatyev, 74), Vilhena, Namli (Suleymanov, 69), Wanderson, Ari.

Yellow cards: Nižić, 33 (unsporting behaviour), Kharin, 35 (foul play), Berisha, 82 (foul play), Gorodov, 90+4 (unsporting behaviour) – Petrov, 9 (unsporting behaviour), Kambolov, 72, (attack breakdown), Vilhena, 90+1 (foul play).

Referees: Meshkov (Dmitrov), Safyan, Kobzev (both Moscow).

14 July 2019. Grozny. Akhmat Arena Stadium. Clear. 23 degrees. 27 535 spectators.

FC Krasnodar opened the new 2019-20 Russian Premier League season with an away match against FC Akhmat Grozny. It is always difficult to play in the capital of the Chechen Republic, let alone in an opening game of the season. The black-greens left the tunnel and entered the pitch wearing shirts with pictures of two seriously injured players of our team, Yury Gazinsky and Viktor Claesson, and words of support addressed to them.

It was very early in game when the home team earned a penalty kick that Meshkov the ref ordered for a foul by Petrov against Berisha. The victim himself undertook to execute it, but the cold-blooded keeper Matvei Safonov confidently parried his strong shot. And yet, with thirty minutes of the game played, the Wolves actually scored an opener. That same Bernard Berisha shot the ball on the volley after a serve by Utsiyev from the right flank. Despite a rebound from Martynovich, Safonov did manage to react to the ball that had changed its path, but the nasty pigskin touched his hands and found its way into the net anyway.

In the remaining time FC Krasnodar would attack a lot and FC Akhmat would reply with counterattacks.  Both teams created many decent chances to score more goals, but the 1-0 on the scoreboard did not change until the very full-time. The black-greens thus began the new season with a minimal loss.