Venue: Krasnodar, Krasnodar stadium, 06.10
Referee: V. Meshkov
Krasnodar: Safonov, Petrov, Martynovich (c), Ramirez, Spajic, Kambolov (Kaio, 46), Stotsky (Skopintsev, 70), Olsson, Ari, Suleymanov, Berg (Utkin, 81).
Unused subs: Adamov, Kritsyuk, Fjoluson, Fernandes, Namli.
Spartak: Rebrov, Rasskazov, Kutepov, Dzhikia (к), Eschenko, Kral, Umyarov, Jano (Til, 68), Larsson (Ponce, 81), Mirzov, Melgarejo (Glushenkov, 90).
Unused subs: Maksimenko, Poplevchenkov, Gaponov, Maslov, Guliev, S. Bakaev.
Goals: 1:0 Berg (3). 2:0 Petrov (20). 2:1 Larsson (45).
Bookings: Mirzov (33). Olsson (64). Ramires (67). Kaio (69). Ari (85). Kutepov (90). Dzhikia (90+2).
Sending-off: Kaio (88, 2 yellows). Dzhikia (90+2)
Following Oleg Kononov’s resignation, his assistant manager Sergei Kuznetsov prepared the team for the game.
Spartak’s matchday squad looked pretty unusual in Krasnodar. Our coaching staff were left without some key players for the occasion. Zobnin, Gigot and Ayrton all missed out due to injuries, Schurrle was down with illness. Til, Ponce and Zelimkhan Bakaev were not included in the starting XI following the medical staff recommendations.
The formation and personnel therefore looked this way: Rebrov started in goal, Dzhikia was paired with Kutepov in central defense (the latter wore a protective mask after having his nose broken), Rasskazov and Eschenko manned the right and left wing respectively, Kral and Umyarov played at the base of our midfield, Jano was at 10, while the lone striker Melgarejo was flanked by Mirzov and Larsson.
We went behind fairly quickly: a cross from a corner found Berg inside the box and his effort went in under the bar.
We piled men forward after an early goal and could have equalised on 13 minutes. Rasskazov’s pinpoint cross was met with a thumping header from Melgarejo, but his shot crashed off the bar and out of play.
We focused on staying in the final third too much and fell victim to a quick counter from the hosts, only for Berg to miss from one-on-one. Minutes later Krasnodar doubled their lead nonetheless: Petrov was left unmarked inside our box and tucked away his chance.
We dictated play in the closing stages of the first 45 though. Safonov parried Jano’s powerful drive right in front of him, but Spajic was first to clear the rebound. Next up we pulled one back though: Mirzov’s pass across goal found Larsson, who slotted home cooly.
We started the second half with a further two shots from Larsson, alas neither rattled the net. Suleymanov responded in kind, only to see his shot go inches wide of the post.
We made further inroads into Krasnodar’s box in search for an equaliser. 17 minutes from time Mirzov’s corner, followed by Umyarov’s header, found Dzhikia at the far post, but his shot was just wide.
The teams exchanged red cards in the dying minutes, but the score stayed the same until the final whistle.