Christian Noboa FC Dynamo Moscow

Dynamo Delivers Shakhtar Defeat

12:29 PMAleks Vee

Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna shakes hands with Dynamo captain Leandro Fernandez. Photo:
It may not have been a Champions League game. It may not have been a Europa League game. There are no records of the teams having played each other in the 21st century. Yet years of success against the Pitmen lie deep in the history of Dynamo Moscow, with 45 wins and 26 draws in 91 games. Both clubs have gone through considerable changes since their last encounter. Shakhtar have flourished under Mircea Lucescu's management, and Dynamo Moscow have begun to climb back up the league table thanks to Dan Petrescu. Shakhtar showed no mercy against the blue-and-whites, treating the friendly as they would a Champions League round. Both teams had some of their best players on the pitch at the start of the game, though Dynamo failed to incorporate the veteran goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky. The first half was relatively equal, both teams eager to score but neither posing much of a threat. Shakhtar's tiki taka passes gave them a bit of an edge in possession towards halftime. Dynamo's Dzsudzsak and Granat lacked accuracy with their crosses, failing to get the ball into Shakhtar's box. What the Moscovites lacked in the offense, however, they made up for with a solid back four. Epureanu and Wilkshire were especially effective in marking Shakhtar's players. Dynamo Captain Leandro Fernandez remains consistent in all the friendlies, both as a leader and set piece taker. Eventually, a sign of things to come hit the team when Henrikh Mkhitaryan netted the ball from offside not long before halftime.

The omen continued as Shakhtar came on for the second half, immediately hovering in Dynamo's box and more eager to score than ever. Set pieces were key in the game, and Dynamo's corner on the 60th minute gave the Moscovites a Kuranyi goal smack dab in the middle of the net. Shakhtar keeper Kanibolotskiy acquired an injury during the game, and Pyatov, who played well in the first half, took to tending the net once again. But even the Pitmen's main keeper couldn't parry Christian Noboa's brilliant free kick delivery, and the ball comfortably grazed the far post of the net. Defensive subs seemed to play a negative role for the Moscovites as Shakhtar found plenty of space to storm the box, ensuring there would be no clean sheet for Anton Shunin. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose thirst for goals had considerably increased in the second half, easily shot a ball past the Dynamo keeper. What followed was a series of dangerous corners from the likes of the Pitmen, many of which may have led to a potential equalizer. Adriano and Fernandinho created a threatening central attack, and Taison's set piece deliveries were an essential element of Shakhtar's powerhouse.

The Moscovites escaped with a 2:1 win, though the game seemed to be heading for a draw. Interestingly, Shakhtar and Dynamo's last meeting also ended with a narrow win, a 3:2 victory for the Moscovites back in October 1991. Today, Dynamo played a worthy 90 minutes against the Champions League contenders. The quality of play showed that it may not be long before the world bears witness to a Dynamo Moscow-Shakhtar Donetsk game in a European competition, and that, perhaps, may go on to become one of the most memorable games of all time.

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Dynamo Moscow - 1:2 (0:0)
Venue: Mardan Sports Complex (Antalya, Turkey)
Referee: Sergei Kostevitch (1st half), Timur Arslanbekov (2nd half)
0:1 (60') Kevin Kuranyi (Asst. Balasz Dzsudzsak)
0:2 (78') Christian Noboa (free kick)
1:2 (82') Henrikh Mkhitaryan


Shakhtar Donetsk:
11 Eduardo (29 Teixera, 46') - 9 Adriano
28 Taison - 7 Fernandinho - 3 H├╝bschman (6 Stepanenko, 69') - 22 Mkhitaryan
26 Rat (95 Sobol, 77') - 27 Chygrynskiy (5 Kucher, 46') - 44 Rakitskiy - 33 Srna (C)
30 Pyatov (32 Kanibolotskiy, 46', Pyatov, 69')

Dynamo Moscow:
22 Kuranyi (8 Davydov, 60') - 9 Kokorin (78 Solomatin)
90 Solovyev (61 Yevseyev, 88') - 16 Noboa - 14 Yusupov (41 Sapeta, 88') - 7 Dzsudzsak
13 Granat - 6 Fernandez (C) - 15 Epureanu (11 Ignatovich, 60') - 23 Wilkshire (44 Chicherin, 60')
1 Shunin

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