Anzhi Dame N'Doye

Anzhi Draws With Lokomotiv in Second RPL Fixture

1:48 PMAleks Vee

Ex-Man Utd assistant Rene Muelensteen with Anzhi manager Guus Hiddink.
The second fixture of the 2013/14 Russian Premier League ended exactly like the first - a heat-filled 2:2 draw between merciless sides. Despite an exciting, well-refereed game, supporters of both teams may be disappointed with the score. Anzhi may have dominated in possession and set pieces, but it was the Railroaders who clearly made the best use of their chances. Dame N'Doye's header in the second half opened the score, and it looked like the guests were heading for victory. They managed to keep the lead for less than half an hour, however, before succumbing to Samuel Eto'O's equalizer. A shot from a tight angle near the goal line deflected off a Lokomotiv player and sailed into the near post. Many things can happen with ten minutes of play remaining, and so they did. A subbed-in Lacina Traore put Anzhi in the lead a few minutes later, slyly avoiding a slide tackle and maneuvering past three defenders before putting in a close range shot past Guilherme. His movements in the box were compared to that of a disco dancer. Guus Hiddink isn't the only manager capable of enhancing the game with smart substitutions; Lokomotiv's Leonid Kuchuk brought on former Spurs man Roman Pavlyuchenko to take back the initiative. Sergei Tkachyov, who was subbed in earlier, found Pavlyuchenko in the box, centering the ball and allowing the striker to level the score. Anzhi had one last shot at being the first team thus far to earn three points in the first Matchweek when a penalty was called in added time, but Eto'O's shot was saved by Guilherme.

Lokomotiv may have toiled endlessly for over 90 minutes, but it wasn't enough to oust Anzhi away at Anzhi Arena. Kuchuk's debut as manager was nonetheless impressive, as his team never stopped putting pressure on Hiddink's powerhouse, nor did the Railroaders ever fail to make use of opportunities on the attack. If there's one thing the new manager brought to the team early on, it's good defending. The Moscovites masterfully executed vital interceptions throughout the match. Loko showed a clear improvement from their game last season. It's difficult to eye the Moscovites as a dark horse just yet, but today's game showed that very well may be a possibility.

2013/14 Russian Premier League - Matchweek 1
Sunday, July 14, 2013, 10:30 AM ET

Anzhi Makhachkala vs Lokomotiv Moscow - 2:2 (0:0)
Venue: Anzhi Arena
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov
Goals:
0:1 (53') Dame N'Doye (Asst. Maicon)
1:1 (79') Samuel Eto'O
2:1 (83') Lacina Traore
2:2 (89') Roman Pavlyuchenko (Asst. Sergei Tkachyov)

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