Dynamo Derby FC Dinamo Tbilisi

Dynamo Derby Ends in Draw

4:28 PMAleks Vee

Irina Shayk and Cristiano Ronaldo were just two of many famous attendees.
A rare, historic encounter drew Olympic champions and famous footballers alike to the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgian League champions Dinamo Tbilisi took on Dynamo Moscow in the latter's last friendly before the start of the 2013/14 Russian Premier League. Both Dynamos are part of a small pool of clubs from the former Soviet Top League that have never been relegated. Before the start of the game, the two team's captains raised a flag with the Dynamo emblem, a tribute to their unity as members of the 90-year-old Dynamo Society. The final score was a true reflection of the game shown by both sides - energetic, dynamic, and always entertaining. Dinamo Tbilisi dominated possession and had plenty of options in the box. Like their namesakes from Moscow, however, they lacked an accurate finish. The home side's best chance came at the end of the first half when Giorgi Merebashvili's shot bounced off the far post. A series of poorly-timed crosses came to nothing; whatever opportunities the home side had came mostly from set pieces, and even those were almost always short of being on target.

Although they didn't test the net as often as they could have, Tbilisi only increased their dominance coming into the second half. The friendly was clearly more important to the home team. As Dynamo Moscow manager Dan Petrescu made countless substitutions, the opposition appeared confident with their starting lineup, continuing to prod at the box with most of their lineup intact. Tbilisi's Xisco, who struggled to make use of his deliveries, took advantage of a defender's bad pass back to Fernandez and chipped the ball in the net without as much as a wink. Petrescu brought on 18-year-old striker Andrei Panyukov for a lackluster Fedor Smolov, but it was too late to fix a poor performance.  
A draw is reason enough for the hooligans to celebrate.
Despite the tense, exciting atmosphere of the game, the second half, as well as a defensive play overall, was an ineffective conclusion to a rather wonderful derby. Both the refereeing and the game play degraded. Cards were shown at random, and Dinamo Tbilisi players resorted to simulation, a completely unnecessary tactic considering their dominance in both halves. The biggest disappointment, however, was Dynamo Moscow's disorganized team play, a direct result of Dan Petrescu's highly experimental lineup. The glue that held the players together in the previous friendlies was nowhere to be seen - it was every man for himself. The only standout player for the Moscovites was their captain, Leandro Fernandez, whose defensive work has never faltered.

Shortcomings aside, the Dynamo Derby was one of the most exciting friendlies to date. It was one of the few real tests for the Moscovites, along with the previous friendly against BSC Young Boys, and a brilliant showcase of the amount of work that's yet to be done before the start of the season.

International Club Friendly
Sunday, July 7, 2013, 12:00 PM EST

Dinamo Tbilisi vs Dynamo Moscow - 1:1 (0:1)
Venue: Dinamo Arena (the Boris Paichadze National Stadium)
Referee: Lasha Silagava (Georgia)
Goals:
0:1 (3') Vladimir Sobolev (Asst. Luke Wilkshire)
1:1 (75') Xisco

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