Aleksandr Kokorin Balazs Dzsudzsak

Three Points Against All Odds

1:33 PMAleks Vee

Despite a few defensive mishaps and the usual problematic RPL refereeing, Dynamo Moscow got an important win away at Start Stadium in Saransk. Aleksandr Kokorin got an early goal in with a run on the left flank and a perfect shot smack dab in the far corner of the net. Luke Wilkshire lost his marking on the opposition, and the guests were lucky to escape an equalizer. Mordovia took their home field advantage seriously, despite the sounds of passionate Dynamo supporters. Dynamo were great on defending Mordovia's set pieces, never letting the shots get past the wall. Mordovia kept up their attacks on the right flank, earning consecutive corners. There were a few nice plays featuring Kokorin, Kuranyi, and Dzsudzsak, but none that resulted in a sharp finish. Dynamo keeper Anton Shunin made a great save on a Mordovia free kick, colliding with Aleksei Ivanov, who kept going for the ball even after the keeper had collected it. Needless to say, Ivanov earned the first yellow of the match, one of the few good decisions made by the official.

Dynamo supporters: "We talk in the eyes, and don't shoot in the back."
Dynamo really took the game into their hands in the second half, with Kuranyi, Kokorin, and Jantscher creating early chances. Mordovia's Tomislav Dujmović, on loan from Dynamo, was eager to score for his new team, getting a free kick after the referee whistled for a non-existent foul by Leandro Fernandez. Dynamo's wall kept holding up the fort, time and time again. Perhaps the worst refereeing blunder of the match, and arguably the worst decision made this season, was the call on Aleksei Ivanov's simulation, which should have earned him a yellow. Nobody brought the player down, but after apparently consulting with the linesman, the referee signaled for a penalty kick. Who should attempt the penalty but Tomislav Dujmović? Again, Shunin was great on the save, and he would have gotten a clean sheet today if it wasn't for that meddling official. Vasily Kazartsev booked Jakob Jantscher for having run out into the box during the penalty, but replays clearly showed that several Mordovia players had done the same much earlier than the Dynamo striker. The official called for the penalty to be retaken, and this time Ruslan Mukhametshin netted the ball in past Shunin for the equalizer. Thankfully, justice was served, and Balasz Dzsudzsak provided a cross from the left flank to Kokorin, who jumped high enough to land a brilliant header. His goal elicited a few passionate responses. Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu gestured triumphantly at the linesman, while Marko Lomic got booked for a rude gesture that was not shown on camera.

What looked to be a great combination for a third goal resulted in an unfortunate injury to one of Dynamo's top strikers. Kuranyi's combination with Kokorin and Dzsudzsak resulted in a bad fall for the forward, who injured his ankle in the fall following his shot. Igor Semshov came on for Kuranyi, but wasn't very present on the pitch in the last half. The match proceeded with more efforts by Kokorin and Dzsudzsak, with the occasional long shot from Mordovia. The home team didn't provide any challenging shots for Anton Shunin as almost every cross into Dynamo's 18-yard box was cleared in every possible direction. Aside from the unaccounted-for penalty save, Anton Shunin did get his heroic moment in the last seconds of stoppage time, taking up a ball from Dujmović right as the forward and a few other players were running on to him.

Though it was a great game and a much-needed win, Dynamo can't get by on random goals. They need to get a consistent build-up and get more combinations in until they become second-nature. The team also needs some defensive work, especially from the likes of Luke Wilkshire. The blue-and-whites still tend to give the ball away on their side of the pitch. A lot of the game was full of volleys and such, so more long-range efforts from the Moscovites would be much appreciated.

Kuranyi's ankle injury will have him out for awhile, so Dynamo will have to rely on Kokorin, Dszudszak and Semshov for the time being. As for Jakob Jantscher, he has yet to really prove himself at Dynamo. It's time for his previous success to translate onto the pitch in the present.

Mordovia manager Fyodor Shcherbachenko had plenty to say about his players as well as the refereeing in his post-match interview. "I think matches have to be heated up," said Shcherbachenko. "My players played and controlled the ball very well, and as a result there weren't many moments created around our net. You know, the refereeing reflects the result. There were a few moments that went unnoticed. The linesman tells the referee that there was a foul, but the official doesn't whistle. The refereeing was prejudiced and ugly." Sometimes the referee would whistle when there was no foul, or fail to whistle when there clearly was one. The penalty situation was simply absurd. But as Dynamo's third keeper Yevgeni Frolov said in his half-time interview, "the important thing is to get the result". Dynamo earned another three points, moving up from 14th to 12th place in the Premier League table. With only 12 points and 12 goals after 12 games, they'll need to keep working hard to make it back to the top 4 by the end of the season and not let the quality of the refereeing get in the way of their success. We've seen some terrible officiating in bigger leagues like La Liga and the EPL, and the best of teams have been unfazed by it. As for the refereeing itself, let's take Scherbachenko's advice and "let the competent people deal with it."

GoalChatter has the exclusive English play-by-play as it happened.


Russian Premier League - 12th Matchday
Sunday, October 21, 2012, 9:45AM EST

FC Mordovia Saransk vs. FC Dynamo Moscow - 1:2 (0:1)
Arena: Start Stadium (Saransk, Russia)
Referee: Vasily Kazartsev (Saint-Petersburg)
Goals:
0:1 Aleksandr Kokorin (6')
1:1 Ruslan Mukhametshin (penalty kick) (60')
1:2 Aleksandr Kokorin (Asst. Balasz Dzsudzsak) (63')

HT Stats:

Goals - 0:1
Shots (on goal) - 6(1) : 3(3)
Corners - 6:1
Offsides - 1:0
Substitutions - 0:0
Fouls - 6:11
Yellow cards - 1:0
Red cards - 0:0

FT Stats:
Goals - 1:2
Shots (on goal) - 15(4) : 14(5)
Possession - 51% : 49%
Corners - 7:2
Offsides - 3:1
Substitutions - 3:3
Fouls - 17:18
Yellow cards - 1:2
Red cards - 0:0

Highlights:

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