It's always easy to underestimate matches between the teams that make up the lower half of the Premier League table. However it's important to remember that these teams usually have much more at stake than the "favorites", even if it is just the start of the season. Rostov had 6 points after 7 games, and Dynamo trailed behind with 3. Both teams faced changes to their starting line-ups. Dynamo's Yusupov was disqualified, and Kokorin's injury during the Russia vs. Israel game prevented him from playing alongside fellow forward Kuranyi, already limiting the team's ability to create chances. Goalkeeper Berezovsky started instead of the injured Shunin, a welcome change to the Dynamo line-up that'll hopefully remain. Newly acquired Austrian star Jakob Jantscher started the game on the bench.
Rostov had a couple of significant changes, as well. The team, managed by former Dynamo coach Miodrag Bozovic, recently signed English winger David Bentley on loan from Spurs. Bentley started his career at Arsenal, where he played only one game and spent the rest of his time on loan to Norwich and Blackburn. Another recent acquisition is French winger Florent Sinama Pongolle, who transferred from Portugal's Sporting. Like Bentley, Sinama began his career in the EPL, playing for Liverpool. Both players were on loan to Blackburn in 2006.
The first half saw little action from both teams, though Rostov did make use of their home field advantage. Dynamo had a few early attempts, but spent most of the time defending. Rostov put on the pressure for quite awhile, forcing the guest team to sit back on their side of the pitch. Jan Holenda was active early on, running toward the goal before Berezovsky picked up the ball from under his feet. Noboa wasted an opportunity for his team by lingering with the ball instead of taking a shot - in the end, Kuranyi couldn't get it in, and Benoit Angbwa cleared it out. Rostov's newbie Bentley was consistently active on the right flank, cut short only by Vladimir Granat. The guest team was unable to find any space to create a meaningful chance. Dynamo didn't test Croatia NT goalkeeper Pletikosa until much later in the game. To be fair, the home team wasn't doing much either. There were moments when Dynamo swayed possession in their favor. Yet the home team did test Berezovsky twice, while Dynamo had some sloppy shots and sometimes passes to Pletikosa. Berezovsky blocked Kalachev's shot after Dynamo defenders let the ball go in a dangerous area. Luckily for Dynamo, Rostov had trouble finishing their attacks, despite David Bentley's prowess. Balazs Dzsudzsak, who had a very early effort on the first minute, attempted to get the ball in from afar, but to no avail. All the while, Dynamo's fans kept up singing for their team.
|The half-time interview with Vladimir Rykov.|
|Dan Petrescu subbing in Otman Bakkal.|
Rostov's Bozovic led his team to a 1-0 win on the day of the City Festival at Rostov-on-Don, giving the fans another reason to celebrate. Bozovic said in a post match interview that the new players' advancement in the team will depend on their individual qualities, and that the newcomers' competition will play a positive role in his team.
Rostov won their second match this season, moving to 10th place in the Premier Leauge table, while Dynamo remains at the bottom with 3 points after 8 games. Dynamo's recent tie in a friendly against Lokomotiv didn't translate into a tie or a win in today's game. The irony, of course, was that Rostov's only goal was not scored from a Bentley free kick, or from a set piece at all. The game was heavy on counters from either side, and should really have ended in a tie. The match was an even one; in such cases, it's enough for the slightest defensive mishap to shift the score to either side. One can't really point the finger of shame at a single player for a team's loss, but if one player had to be removed from the starting line-up for the next game against Amkar, it would have to be Christian Noboa. He's probably the least emotionally-stable of the Dynamo squad at the moment, and it was his flop that aided Rostov in scoring their only goal.
|Dynamo fans didn't enjoy today's game.|
Russian Premier League - 8th matchday
Sunday, September 16, 2012, 12:00PM EST
FC Rostov vs. FC Dynamo Moscow - 1:0 (0:0)
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (St. Petersburg)
Arena: Olimp-2 (Rostov-on-Don)
1:0 Jan Holenda (Asst. Timofei Kalachev) ('62)
7(3):5(0) shots (on goal)
1 yellow card (Rostov)
14(6):13(1) shots (on goal)
2:2 yellow cards