Full house at the stadium
August 7, 2019 will forever go down in the history of Krasnodar, because on that day the team debuted in the Champions League. True, the rivals in the third qualifying round, the Russian team got the most difficult opponent - an experienced European fighter Porto, who last season beat Lokomotiv twice with a total score of 7: 2 and reached the quarter finals of the main European Cup, where he lost only to the future trophy holder “Liverpool.”
Before the match in Krasnodar, many called the Porto an unconditional favorite of the confrontation, but Sergio Conceisau's wards had their own problems before the start of the new season, the main of which was the departure of a number of leaders: Eder Militao, Felipe, Oliver Torres, Iker Casillas, Yasin Braimi, Hector Herrera, Maxi Pereira.
In fact, the coaching staff had to build a new team. It is gratifying that among the players who strengthened the vice-champion of Portugal this summer, there was a former Spartak striker Ze Luis. In Russia, he repeatedly opposed Krasnodar and regularly scored Southerners - 5 goals in 6 games.
But the process of building a new team was not without serious conflict. In late July, Conceisau quarreled with captain Danilu Pereira, and he temporarily even stopped training with the main one. Later, the coach and the football player managed to find a common language, and the captain in Krasnodar not only arrived on an equal footing with everyone, but even took part in the pre-match press conference.
At the same time, Conceisau himself in the first match with the Russian team could not be present on the bench due to UEFA disqualification. So the coach was punished for being late for a return match with Liverpool. The hosts were in a similar situation, because Musaev was forbidden to appear in the technical zone due to the lack of the necessary coaching qualifications.
Another advantage for “Krasnodar” was the lack of playing practice with an opponent, because the championship in Portugal will begin only this week, while the RPL started almost a month ago. Finally, the southerners were guaranteed crazy fan support. On the eve of the game, it was announced that all 35,074 tickets for the historic match had been sold.
As for the starting line-up of Krasnodar, Musaev surprised fans only in one thing - he gave a spot on the tip of the attack to rookie Markus Berg, while Ari, who always appeared on the field from the first minutes at the start of the season, remained on the bench. The Lew was also in stock. But then Vanderson returned to the starting lineup, having missed the game with Zenit due to a cold. At the same time, Ivan Ignatiev was not at all in the application.
Starting excitement and the ubiquitous Kambolov
However, the fact of participation in such an important game affected the Krasnodar players negatively and for the first half hour they did not look the best. In the first minutes, the hosts' excitement was frankly evident: Matvey Safonov out of the blue put the ball out, and Christian Ramirez instead of passing the goalkeeper made a corner for Porto.
At the same time, ahead of the game, Musayev’s wards did not stick at all. They lost the fight in midfield and left Berg on a “starvation diet”. And the technical Wanderson, Remy Cabella and Younes Namley had to throw themselves into adventurous dribbling in rare moments of meetings with the ball.
Fortunately, in this difficult segment of the match, Krasnodar managed to keep its gates locked. The guests created their most dangerous moment after Moussa Marega, in violation of the rules, won the fight against Uros Spaiich and completed a cross on Jesus Corona. The Mexican owner forgave and struck just in the hands of Safonov.
Marega’s exit almost face-to-face with Safonov after the loss of Kambolov in the center looked much more dangerous. But in this case, luck was on the side of the southerners - the striker did not hit the bottom into the far corner.
But after the 30th minute a completely different football started on the field. “Krasnodar” finally took the ball under its control and even pressed the opponent to the goal. Musayev’s wards began to play a game in the corporate pass. They looked especially good on the left flank of Cabella and Namli. The latter in one of the episodes completely threw the ball between the legs of two opponents at once.
Berg reminded of himself, having ruined two dangerous moments. First, he struck from a very close free kick much higher than the goal, and then he could not close Namli's backache.
By the way, in addition to Younes, Kambolov stood out as part of Krasnodar in the first half. Ruslan performed a huge amount of work and thwarted a considerable number of attacks of the opponent. At the same time, the midfielder managed to break through a stranger's goal a couple of times. And when the rookie team in the end of the first half grabbed the back of the thigh, the fans were seriously nervous. Fortunately, there was no serious injury.
100% Cabella moment and offensive ending
The second half turned out to be less eventful. Both teams did not want to take risks and did not seek to go forward too actively. In addition, at some points it was felt that Porto were holding the first official match of the season. Guests still had a slight advantage, but did not create really dangerous moments. The defense of “Krasnodar” coped with the attacks of the opponent.
Southerners immediately after the break claimed a penalty. Vanderson burst into the penalty area on the right flank and performed a cross, but the ball fell into the hands of Ivan Marcano. However, the judge from Germany, Tobias Stiller, who saw the episode very well, apparently decided that the hand game was unintentional.
And closer to the middle of the second half, the coaching staff of the guests first threw the midfielder Luis Diaz into battle instead of the 19-year-old Romario Baro, and then the debutant Zé Luis. Musaev’s assistant, Sergei Matveev, alternately released Ari, Magomed Shapi-Suleymanov and Yon Godny Fjoluson. Moreover, the latter replaced the tired and limping Kambolov.
As a result, all the most interesting events took place already at the end of the meeting. To begin with, a hundred percent moment was missed by Cabella. After a good combination of the team and the perfect cross of Petrov, Remy hit almost certainly, but Augustin Marquesin showed miracles of reaction and pulled the ball out from under the crossbar. By the way, this was the first strike of “Krasnodar” on target.
Alas, the answer to “Porto” in the 89th minute turned out to be productive, and Ze Luis did the “disservice” to the southerners. Right next to someone else's free kick, the ex-forward of Spartak stumbled on Spayich and fell. Shtiller, without thinking twice, gave a whistle. Unfortunately, Sergio Oliveira turned the ball right into the corner from the standard.
At the same time, the actions of Spaich were not very clear. After hitting an opponent, he rushed to someone else's goal to try to make the ball, but this only seemed to confuse Safonov, who did not even move, although, at first glance, he could save the episode.
Stiler added four minutes to the main time of the match, and Krasnodar tried to organize the final assault, but the hosts did not have the strength to do it. It remains to be noted that in the very end Musaev’s wards conceded a ball that could become fatal for them. Now, away from the Russian team only victory is required.