Aleksandr Kokorin Balazs Dzsudzsak

A Return to Greatness: Dynamo's First Win in 6 Games

3:54 PMAleks Vee

The Other Moscow Derby

Two recent transfers, Shifo and Bakkal, high-five each other on a game well-played. Photo: RIA Novosti
How do you solve a problem like Dynamo? After 5 straight losses in the RPL, the only team with no points on the table finally made it happen. It wasn't an easy win, either. Dynamo were playing a team coached by former Croatia NT manager Slaven Bilic, and while Loko haven't been the most stable club these past seasons either, they can certainly give any team a run for their money. Perhaps a few changes are worthy of mention. Recently-appointed Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu removed Misimovic from the starting lineup after his lackluster performance against Terek Grozny. Rookie Andrei Panyukov was not called up for the match at all; he played for the reserve team yesterday, which, coincidentally, defeated Lokomotiv's reserves 2:1. Luke Wilkshire's injury kept him out of today's match, but according to assistant coach Khokhlov, he'll be back in play pretty soon.

With Petrescu's last day being disqualified, assistant coach Emil Caras took over the sidelines. Dynamo started off with a bang - Dzsudzsák picked up the ball after Lokomotiv goalkeeper Kreshic failed to clear it. His one-touch shot was apprehended by Vedran Corluka. Maicon missed out on an early chance for Lokomotiv on the 9th minute. Dynamo keeper Shunin bounced the ball out in front of him, then took it in a fall. A quick counter soon followed by the guest team. Nikita Chicherin dribbled past a defender to shoot from inside the box, yet Corluka was able to clear the ball out. The magic began 12 minutes into the game when Aleksandr Kokorin got a perfect cross from Dzsudzsák, flew past Corluka and Taras Burlak, and easily won the rendezvous with the keeper, netting in his team's second goal of the season. Igor Semshov was so close to making it double. His shot bounced off a defender and came back, but his rendezvous with the keeper ended in a wide attempt. Dzsudzsáks cross to Lomic resulted in another attempt for the blue-and-whites, but the ball went flying past the post. 


Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu celebrates his team's goal. Photo: RIA Novosti
All the while, Maicon kept losing the ball whenever he picked it up. Yet he finally pulled through for the Railroaders, heading in the equalizer after Dynamo's defenders left him alone with the keeper in a failed attempt to create an offside trap. Andrey Yeshchenko entered the penalty box from the left flank, getting the ball to Samedov, whose shot was saved by Shunin. Dynamo were putting on the pressure, forcing the home team to sink back in their side of the field. Once again, Samedov tried to break through the Dynamo defense, delivering a free kick into the box where Corluka ran past a defender. It was an easy save for Shunin, unlike the home team's set pieces. Noboa took a free kick for Dynamo after Lomic was brought down, sending the ball over the net. A nice potential combination by Dynamo ended in a shot straight into the opposition's keeper. 

Marko Lomic's halftime replacement, Pavel Nyakhaychyk, took up Kokorin's beautiful pass in the box and sent it well wide of the net. The home team had a corner that, fortunately for the guests, ended in a shot that hit the side netting. Dynamo's counter failed as the players lost the ball in the center for the umpteenth time. Nyakhaychyk made up for the error by making a run on the left flank and getting a corner. A few minutes later, Shishkin did his part in preventing the guests from getting further with their combination. A beautiful counter by the guests continued the magic. Kokorin's through ball to Dzsudzsák gave Balazs a left-footed shot into the near post. Loko equalized soon enough; the newly acquired forward Dame N'Doye, who transfered from Danish Superliga's FC Copenhagen, scored his first goal for the Railroaders and the second equalizer by the home team. A free kick delivery gave him the header from close range. Evidently, Shunin was going for the 'most missed headers' record; to say he didn't try to stop the ball would be an understatement. Luckily for him, his teammates were quick to take back the score. Dzsudzsák provided the cross to Noboa from the right, and the latter had the perfect one-touch finish to send the ball into the left corner of the net. This was the Dynamo that fans wanted to see. The home team didn't stop putting on the pressure, and managed to successfully take the ball away from the Blue-and-Whites. Kresic saved Bilic's team from Semshov's attempt to get a third goal in. 

Bilic taught his club well - the set piece masters infiltrated the net twice in the last minutes of play, saved only by the top of the net and by Granat, who cleared the ball out from the goal line after Felipe Caicedo's shot ricocheted off Shunin. A Lokomotiv fan stood out among the crowd with a Nike shirt that read "Haters = motivators". Perhaps that's true for today's team; Dynamo came back from two equalizers from the home team, quite the contrary to the New England Revolution of the MLS. But there was much more at work for the club. The new management restored the team's faith, and that's the greatest motivation of all.

Regardless, Dynamo still have quite a lot to work on. They're losing the ball quite a lot in the center of the pitch, something I've seen all too often in Liga Mexicana games. The positive things to point out from this match would be better possession and the team's initiative to move forward, both features that were missing prior to today. Balazs Dzsudzsák was definitely the Man of the Match, getting two assists and a goal. Kokorin got a goal and an assist as well. Granat's defending was superb. The only player who shouldn't have started was goalkeeper Shunin. Overall, though, the team is definitely shaping up both physically and technically. 

Half-back Artur Yusupov was right to point in an interview out that the team's mindest was what made the difference. Dutch Midfielder Otman Bakkal, who debuted for Dynamo in the last minutes of the match, told Sovsport that he was glad his debut coincided with the team's first win. Assistant coach Dmitri Khokhlov summed it up best in his interview for the official site of FC Dynamo - "...the victory will give the team both moral and physical strength. It was definitely a very important win for us in this situation".

Petrescu's last match disqualification couldn't have had a better ending.
At the moment, Dynamo no longer occupy the last place in the Premier League table (Rostov have taken over, with two draws and a loss). Tied with Volga (1-0-4), Dynamo have every opportunity to make it to the middle of the table and continue their race for the top. It'll take a few more wins from FCD and a few more losses from the likes of other teams, but the restoration of a legendary club will be well worth the effort. 

Two of the RPL leaders, Zenit and Spartak, lost three points in today's games. Zenit, Terek, Spartak, and Rubin currently occupy the top four. Hiddink's Anzhi is in 7th place, but only one win away from 5th. Tomorrow's RPL matches will be Amkar vs. Krasnodar, CSKA vs. Krylia Sovetov, and Anzhi vs. Mordovia. 

Dynamo's Next Games

Dynamo will face off against Stuttgart in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Europa League qualifying playoffs on Tuesday, August 28th at 12PM EST. On September 2nd, Dynamo plays at home against Petrescu's former club, Kuban Krasnodar. 

Dynamo fans with a banner that reads "More Than a Club". Photo: fcdynamo.ru
Russian Premier League - 6th matchday
Saturday, August 25, 2012, 5:30AM EST

FC Lokomotiv Moscow vs. FC Dynamo Moscow - 2:3 (1:1)
Arena: Lokomotiv Arena (Moscow, Russia)
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (St. Petersburg)
Goals:
0:1 Aleksandr Kokorin (Asst. Balazs Dzsudzsák) ('12)
1:1 Maicon ('21)
1:2 Balazs Dzsudzsák (Asst. Aleksandr Kokorin) ('59)
2:2 Dame N'Doye ('65)
2:3 Christian Noboa (Asst. Balazs Dzsudzsák) ('68) 

Halftime Stats:
Shots (on goal): 4(3):6(3)
Corners: 2:1
Fouls: 7:9
No offsides.

Full-time Stats:
Shots (on goal): 9(5):10(6)
Corners: 4:3
Fouls: 14:19
No offsides.

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