by Aleks V |
Dynamo Moscow reserved themselves a spot in the 2017/18 Russian Premier League less than a year after being relegated for the first time in their 93-year history.
The club, which currently plays in the Football National League, Russia's First Division, won promotion with seven games to go, breaking a six-year league record for earliest promotion (in 2013, FC Ural won promotion with five games remaining).
A scoreless draw against FC Khimki meant the results of the Baltika-SKA Khabarovsk match would determine their fate. As luck would have it, 90 minutes in Kaliningrad produced an identical scoreboard, guaranteeing Dynamo a top-two finish.
The Blue-and-Whites also extended their unbeaten run in the FNL to 13 games.
Dynamo are heading back to the top tier with no shortage of talent.
Forward, Kirill Panchenko, on loan from CSKA Moscow, agreed to a permanent deal with Dynamo at the end of the season. With 21 goals in 27 games, Panchenko is the club's and league's current top scorer. He's four goals shy of matching the club record for most goals in a season - 25 goals, scored by Sergei Solovyov in 1948.
Midfielder, Anatoli Katrich, has had a standout performance, racking up a goal and three assists in the last four games.
Dynamo goalkeeper, Anton Shunin, has noticeably improved in goal under Goalkeeper Coach, Roman Berezovsky. The former Dynamo and Armenia keeper fine-tuned Shunin's skills over the course of the season, contributing to the team's goal difference of +30.
The back line is a story as well, with such talents as Swedish centre-back, Sebastian Holmén, Australian international, Luke Wilkshire, and seasoned club veteran, Vladimir Rykov.
In less than a season in charge, Head Coach, Yuri Kalitvintsev, reinvigorated a team whose spirit was at an all-time low. A former Dynamo player, Kalitvintsev, who led Ukraine to victory in the 2009 UEFA Under-19 Euro, was the perfect choice to lead the historic side. He brought together both young and experienced players, whose collective effort now boasts a 22-8-3 (W-D-L) record.
Dynamo Moscow are the 14th club to return to the Russian Premier League after one season in the First Division.