Again “Ural”, again a scandal! “Spartak” did not win against Goncharenko’s team in the Cup


Spartak have been surprisingly lucky with the spring fixture list. The match against Ural was already the fourth home game in a row, and the only away match took place in Cherkizovo. However, the start turned out to be both successful and spectacular – less than four goals were scored in the first match against Loko alone. And what is significant, three games in a row, the red and white conceded two goals each, also from Ural in the championship (2:2). That match turned out to be scandalous because of Alexander Sobolev’s criminally unaccounted for goal and the only one that failed in terms of result.

Sobolev had no chance this time, as he was suspended for a fight with Zenit in the Russian Cup. At the same time, it is noteworthy that Pavel Meleshin came out in the center of the attack instead of him, and not much more status Keita Balde.

In general, there have been significant changes in each row. Thus, Oleksandr Maksimenko played in goal, Tomasz Tavares took the position of right-back, and Anton Zinkovsky and Roman Zobnin were replaced by Christopher Martins and Mikhail Ignatov, the author of the winning goal in the match against Fakel. Both have experience in central midfield and Guillermo Abascal prefers to position them on the right wing of the attack, so this time they have alternated between roles in the centre-line and in the bottom third of the pitch.

The composition of the “Ural” was also very unusual. Thus, if Aleksey Kashtanov came out from the first minutes, then Lazar Randzhelovich and Eric Bikfalvi remained in reserve. Yuri Gazinsky is still injured, so this combination of players can hardly be called optimal.


The fourth game in a row clearly had a negative impact on the quality of the turf at Otkritie Bank Arena. In spring it is not easy to prepare the field, and even so it withstands such intensity … And suddenly it turned out that this was in favor of the Urals, because combining it on a not very even field is rather futile. Because of this and the pressure from the guests, Spartak immediately fell into long passes, for which Meleshin is much more difficult to catch than Sobolev or Shamar Nicholson.

So the start for the hosts proved to be quite chaotic. However, as soon as they quickly broke out of the defense in their favorite style through one pass, the result followed. In the final phase of the attack, Danil Prutsev launched a big attack in the direction of Tavares, who opened up on his own on the edge of the penalty area, and smoothly crossed at the far post, where defenders who did not have time to rebuild missed Quincy Promes. And he didn’t miss his chance.

Well, for Tavares, who made his debut at the base, this productive action was the first in Spartak. Congrats to the guy that he lost almost a whole year to a serious injury.


A couple of minutes later, the home side should have had a chance to double, when Silvie Begich blasted Martins past him in the penalty area. The episode is almost identical to the one in Spartak’s penalty area in the match with Fakel, and RFU ESC has already confirmed the legitimacy of awarding that 11-meter penalty. So it is not clear what Sergei Karasev and VAR were guided by when they made the opposite decision.

By the way, it also caused a nervous reaction in Muscovites. Abascal, having watched the episode on the tablet, went into a rage to the limit, and Promes a few minutes later in an ordinary episode drove Denis Kulakov away. A fair reaction against the background of the referees’ decisions in previous matches with Ural and Fakel.


At the same time, one cannot but say about the guests. Even in this, as I said, suboptimal formation, they looked like a very solid and controlled team: they attacked and defended synchronously, turned the pressure on and off, which periodically gave the opponent a lot of trouble. And they could even level the score when Daniel Mishkic headed dangerously for a corner from the center of the box, but Maksimenko saved.

It is significant that during the break Abaskal immediately made a double replacement: instead of the motor, but not very thin Daniil Khlusevich and Prutsev, the more dexterous Daniil Denisov and the mobile Zobnin came out. Apparently, the Catalan wanted more movement and reliability in the rear from the team. It did not work. At the end of the hour of play, Leo Goglichidze, who was very active on the left flank, ran great along the edge and rolled Alexander Yushin into the center on sight, whose point-blank shot miraculously knocked out Maksimenko. Super moment!


Not to say that the goal of “Ural” was directly hinted at, but given the foregoing, it was no surprise. Even if it came out relatively random. Promes entered his own penalty area, but lost the ball, and Yury Zheleznov, who came on the bench just a couple of minutes earlier, rebounded from outside the penalty area to Pavel Maslov, who rushed under the blow, hit exactly in the far corner area.

How can we forget that in a recent league match here, Ural took the lead in the 64th minute (Zheleznov scored in the 67th minute), and then the goal was made by Alexander Yushin, who had gone out just a minute earlier, running along hip and put the ball on Bicfalvey’s leg? And yes, Zheleznov hasn’t spent a single minute in 2023. Goncharenko has a phenomenal level of substitutions.


In the end, “Spartak” tirelessly stormed Ilya Pomazun’s penalty area, which was greatly facilitated by the appearance (it seems a little late) of Zinkovsky. Abaskal generally lost to his opponent in substitutions that evening. Denisov and Zobnin didn’t step up the game, but the coach delayed the rest of the substitutions. If Victor Moses’ first outing after injury in a match like this on a ground like this didn’t seem like the best fit, then Balda Keith’s bench was perplexing. In addition, Meleshin had an obviously unsuccessful match.

However, the red and white, of course, could snatch victory. Thus, just before the final whistle, Pomazun made a crazy save, shooting a header from Promes from close range under the crossbar. And after all, there is nothing to criticize the Dutchman for! And there is no result. However, Muscovites still have a return match, and even if something goes wrong there, then there is an opportunity to play the Way of Regions.

Cup of Russia. RPL path. 1/2 final. The first match

“Spartak” – “Urals” – 1:1 (1:0)

Goals: Proms, 9pm – 1am. Zheleznov, 67 – 1:1.

“Spartak”: Maksimenko, Tavaresh, Maslov, Jikia, Khlusevich (Denisov, 46), Litvinov, Ignatov (Zinkovsky, 70), Prutsev (Zobnin, 46), Pereira, Promes, Meleshin.

“Ural”: Pomazun, Goglichidze, Filipenko, Begich, Kulakov, Vlut (Podberezkin, 75), Mishkich, Egorychev (Zheleznov, 65), Sungatullin (Mamin, 86), Kashtanov (Tatarinov, 65), Yushin (Bakfalvi, 65).

Warnings: Egorychev, 51. Pomazun, 83.

Judge: Karashev (Moscow).


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