Ad Astra Per Aspera: Dynamo's Third Win in Switzerland4:13 PMAleks Vee
Dynamo Moscow got their third 2:1 friendly win in the Swiss countryside against Europa League contenders Astra Giurgiu. The Moscovites continue to improve under Dan Petrescu, playing an active, attacking game. The first half was overflowing with chances that never fully developed. Fedor Smolov, who recently returned from his loan to Anzhi Makhachkala, passed up quite a few shots in front of the net, some of which joined Sergio Ramos's penalty ball in orbiting the moon. Another player back from loan, former Liverpool midfielder Andriy Voronin, played a full 90 minutes and fed plenty of balls to 20-year-old Pavel Solomatin, but the veteran Ukrainian was the one to open the score. A foul in the box earned Dynamo their second consecutive penalty in two days. Voronin coolly netted the ball in, his first goal since his return. The Moscovites continued to attack, but the wet weather towards the end of the first half, as well as a young, less-experienced player in front, made it difficult to keep control of the ball and finish.
Unsurprisingly, Petrescu left most of the lineup intact for the second half - many of the players had participated in yesterday's friendly and needed a rest. Christian Noboa came off of the bench, but was often overshadowed by Voronin, as the Ukrainian took up his teammate's set piece duties. When it came to goal-scoring, Dynamo's veteran players shone. Voronin curled in a free kick from outside the box, and Leandro Fernandez had the perfect header to finish it off. The Dynamo captain returned to the lineup after a minor injury, defending the ball well throughout the game. Both teams suffered from bad passing accuracy and a clear inability to finish, although the Moscovites had far more missed opportunities.
Petrescu's side still have a hurdle to overcome before the start of the season. The blue-and-whites are solid on the defense and sloppy on the offense. They put pressure on the opponent. but easily lose focus towards the end of the game. Even if the other team, as in today's game, failed to create many chances throughout the two halves, one mistake from Dynamo was enough to relinquish the clean sheet. Despite the return of Luke Wilkshire, who was subbed in for Igor Shitov late into the game, the usual back four couldn't stop a sharp kick from Astra's Constantin Budescu, who saw an opportunity and picked up a lone ball right in front of an idle teammate, delivering an unpleasant surprise for the Moscovites. Budescu had several chances earlier, one of which was a powerful shot to the center saved by Roman Berezovsky.
Friendlies are a great way to monitor a team's progress before the start of the season. A little more focus and better passing technique will make a huge difference in Dynamo's game and help the team finish in the top 5 or 4 of the Premier League.
International Club Friendly
Saturday, June 29, 2013, 12:30PM ET
Dynamo Moscow vs Astra Giurgiu - 2:1 (1:0)
1:0 (17') Andriy Voronin (PK)
2:0 (64') Leandro Fernandez (Asst. Andriy Voronin)
2:1 (90+1') Constantin Budescu