Victory In First Game At Marbella Cup
On the day of the Marbella Cup first game, Lokomotiv followed their routine preparation schedule. From morning till afternoon the team had been having a light practice, then a short rest. An hour-and-a-half before the start, a bus brought the Railwaymen to the Marbella Sports Centre. Dinamo Bucharest arrived much later.
Miodrag Bozovic's scheme looked familiar, with the only exception that the versatile Nemanja Pejcinovic played left fullback again - Vitaliy Denisov is still regaining form after the recent Asian Cup. Oumar Niasse spearheaded attack.
The game started right off the bat. On five minutes Alan Kasaev made a hallmark run down the wing to the area and passed to Alexander Samedov's feet but the winger failed to finish off this comfortable sitter.
Dinamo responded with a dangerous attack when their striker Matei found himself in front of the open goal with the ball - luckily, the kick was inaccurate.
The following ten minutes brought nothing dangerous, but when Taras Mykhalyk set up for Manu Fernandes, the Portuguese had to score! Alas, the attempt brought nothing.
The first half saw a pretty equal play, however the Railwaymen had way more opportunities. Niasse had a chance on 30 minutes when he timed his run and found himself behind the defender but nevertheless failed to score.
The Railwaymen tackled the opponents bravely, although that had some kickback like three bookings for Niasse, Pejcinovic, and Fernandes.
Surprisingly enough, no substitutions which are common for exhibition games were made in half-time. Early in the second half, the opponents were careful and only after some time did Lokomotiv pull Dinamo towards their goal and started shelling the area from corner kicks and free kicks.
On 60 minutes Niasse had another chance when he broke one-on-one but allowed a defender to chase him down and block the attempt.
Five minutes later Miodrag Bozovic made his substitutions. Dmitriy Tarasov, Alexey Miranchuk, Alexander Sheshukov and Maicon replaced Mykhalyk, Boussoufa, Fernandes, and Kasaev. Roman Pavlyuchenko changed Niasse up front.
In the middle of the half both teams seemed to forget how to attack. The Red-Greens kept trying to make a through pass but the defenders cut them all.
However, on 80 minutes Durica's wonderful pass made the game. Maicon received the ball from the Slovak, rounded his marker and was alone against the keeper. Naumovski parried the shot back into the field from where Pavlyuchenko sent it home first touch.
Lokomotiv tried to improve the lead when Miranchuk set up first for Samedov and later for Pavlyuchenko, but Dinamo's keeper saved in both episodes.
Loko's keeper Ilya Abaev meanwhile had been showing solid performance throughout the game. In the 87th minute Ilya dismissed the fears he might lose concentration. When Dinamo attempted to score from a dangerous free kick, Abaev jumped out and tipped the ball away from the far top corner.
Lokomotiv played a smooth and quality game, keeping the opponent's defence strain, but it's obvious the Railwaymen are not in their best conditions yet. They will play their second game on February 7th against Atletico Paranaence who beat Elfsborg from Sweden.
Lokomotiv - Dinamo Bucharest 1:0 (0:0)
Goals: Pavlyuchenko, 80.
Lokomotiv: Abaev, Shishkin, Corluka, Durica, Pejcinovic, Mykhalyk (Tarasov, 65), Samedov, Fernandes (Al. Miranchuk, 65), Boussoufa (Sheshukov, 65), Kasaev (Maicon, 65), Niasse (Pavlyuchenko, 65).
Dinamo: Naumovski, Barboianu, Goian, Sergio Rodriguez, Grigore, Matei, Rotariu, Grozav, Niculae, Boubacar, Durimel.
Yellow cards: Fernandes, 20. Boubacar, 20. Pejcinovic, 32. Niasse, 38. Durimel, 51. Corluka, 86. Maicon, 90.
3 February. Marbella. Marbella Sport Center.