The Black-Greens Failed to Overcome the Eliteserien Champions
FC Krasnodar 0-1 (0-0) Molde FK
Goal: Knudtzon, 49.
FC Krasnodar: Kritsyuk, Ramírez, Sorokin, Martynovich (Bochko, 39), Petrov, Olsson, Vilhena, Gazinsky, Fernandes (Sergeyev, 46), Suleymanov (Matsukatov, 76), Berg.
Molde FK (Norway): Craninx, Pedersen, Ellingsen, Bjørnbak, Hestad, Knudtzon, Aursnes (Hussain, 73), Haugen, Christensen (Eikrem, 80), Roseth, Bolly (Svendsen, 46).
Referees: Hagen, Knutsen, Ytterland (all Norway).
16 February 2020. Spain. Marbella. Estadio Municipal de Marbella. Clear. 16 degrees. 100 spectators.
As the Andalucía training camp went on, players of the first Krasnodar team took part in the second scrimmage of the day. They met Molde FK, the titleholder of the Norwegian Eliteserien who won the title in 2019 with a 14-point gap from the runner-up.
The Bulls attacked sharper than their opponents in the first half. On the 11th minute Vilhena missed the target with a one-touch shot from the centre of the box. A few minutes later Berg attempted another one from a gorgeous position after a ball intercept, but the pigskin went exactly where Craninx stood. In the following attacks both Olsson and Shapi lacked some accuracy to succeed, too.
The MFK retaliated with a single set piece, but it was executed in a flawless way. The Norway team produced a well-played combination that began with a fine vertical pass between the Krasnodar players, and then Knudtzon met the low cross from the 6-yard line and scored a goal.
Sergeyev had the best chances for an equalizer after he had replaced Fernandes on a field of play. At first he made it into the opposite box and shot the ball into Craninx at a sharp angle (there was an option to give the ball to one of his teammates inside, it seemed). On another occasion he took a classy header, but the Belgian keeper saved the day. The Molde Fotballklubb did not look like a dominating party tonight, but the model execution of a single set piece allowed the Norwegian titleholder to win this game.