Akhmat is one of Zenit’s most uncomfortable opponents. The Grozny team often surprises the national champions, their matches are never easy. In the last three direct confrontations, the blue and white have only defeated their opponents once.
Furthermore, Akhmat is now on the rise. A new coach, Miroslav Romashchenko, joined the team. The team has never lost with him. Now Akhmat seems more serene and stronger. Now it is difficult to call them outside the RPL.
Akhmat and Zenit played their first Russian Cup match in July. Then the Grozny team lost 0-2. The Brazilians Claudinho and Gustavo Mantuan did their job.
This time “Akhmat” did not press against his goal, but immediately advanced. And already in the fourth minute the Bulgarian goal occurred. Very technically, under defender Robert Renan, Svyatoslav Kovachev scored the first goal. The Bulgarian had a brilliant performance. He accepted it, turned around and shot from long distance with no chance for the goalkeeper. A goal like this can attract the interest of Zenit.
Already in the 14th minute, Akhmat reinforced its lead. Now Oleynikov has distinguished himself, who can be safely called one of the discoveries of this season. And with Romashchenko he plays especially well. The Russian has three goals in the last four games.
Before this goal, Akhmat made a competent attack on the wing and, after a cross, Gbamble headed back. Then Oleynikov hit the goalkeeper with his powerful shot.
In the 19th minute, Zenit had to make a forced change. Dmitry Vasiliev, who would be very interesting to watch, was injured. Matteo Cassiera took his place. Thus, coach Sergei Semak indicated that not everything in the team’s game suits him. Change the scheme.
It is difficult to say whether the plan had any influence on this. But eight minutes later Zenit scored. Ivan Sergeev shot straight at the goal at the entrance to the area. Until that moment, the ball came to him very rarely, but in vain! One moment was enough for Sergeev to score.
In the 33rd minute he scored a double. After a clever pass from Russian national team midfielder Alexander Kovalenko, Sergeev skillfully took advantage of his opportunity, shooting with all his might and with surprising accuracy into the near corner.
And the third moment went to Sergeev. He could have scored a hat-trick in the first half. Grozny goalkeeper Kharin tried to stop him in violation, but Ivan kept his balance. But he lost the ball.
Akhmat did not manage in this half without a forced substitution. Instead of Kamilov, Kamilo entered. Romashchenko changed only the lyrics.
At the end of the first leg of the match, Zenit completely took the lead. Cassierra scored his team’s third goal. After a perfect serve from Krugovoi, the Colombian sent the ball into the goal literally with the back of his head. “Akhmat” quickly fell apart.
Zenit midfielder Alexey Sutormin was very satisfied in the first half. He was the absolute king of his side, he clung to every ball and showed that he deserved to appear on the field more often.
Akhmat started the second half very actively. The home fans provided additional energy and pushed his team forward. And in the 64th minute the Grozny team was close to scoring, but hit the post.
Zenit, on the other hand, slowed down and got the ball rolling at every opportunity. They had nowhere to rush.
But Akhmat still achieved his goal. It is especially worth highlighting Romashchenko’s changes, which strengthened the game and brought results. Vladimir Ilyin scored the goal, which appeared on the field only in the 57th minute. He celebrated it in the style of Cristiano Ronaldo.
After that, “Akhmat” did not stop being number one, feeling that he was surpassing his opponent and advancing all the time. But he missed an offensive counterattack at the end, in the 90th minute. This omission led to a foul on Marat Bystrov’s last hope. Wilson Isidore, who is playing only his second game for the club, earned elimination.
Zenit did not have time to take advantage of its numerical advantage. And the game went to a penalty shootout. And here Zenit’s class advantage played its role. The blue-white-blue artists turned out to be more accurate.
“Akhmat” takes only one point, and “Zenit” takes two points at once. However, this helped the Grozny team rise to third place in the group. The blue, white and light blue came in second place.