Spartak was saved by a guy from the Crimea. Khlusevich was silent for 35 matches – he broke through!

In the 1st round of the 2023-2024 season, Spartak Moscow faced a difficult task – one of the most uncomfortable clubs of the last season, Orenburg. Last season, the capital’s team suffered a very painful away 0-2 and there was a lot of talk about the Orenburg team’s artificial turf, however, if we take away all these almost football-related motives, the red-and-whites lost absolutely business.

Now everything starts all over again. The visitors have a new coach – Czech specialist Jiri Jarosik, well known in Spartak, who drank a lot of Spartak blood when he played for CSKA. But Spartak, as usual, enter the season with big ambitions, it can’t be otherwise. “Spartak” is again considered one of the favorites in the fight for “gold”. Orenburg, on the other hand, is solving its problems: maintaining the pace established last season, even without taking into account the loss of coach Marcel Lichka, who moved to Dynamo Moscow.


Salvatore Bocchetti, the ex-Spartak defender, who came out to strike the ball first, defiantly refused to shake hands with the referee Artyom Chistyakov. The match did not have time to start, and already a small scandal surfaced.


Already in the first minutes “Spartak” was obliged to open an account, but Orenburg defender and goalkeeper Perez and Sysuev performed a miracle by pulling off a beautiful blow from Roman Zobnin. All the sharpest passes at the beginning of the match were distributed by Victor Moses – the red and white joker clearly showed that he was in perfect order, which means that the opponent had to expect trouble at any moment. For the first ten minutes, the distinct feeling that the match should have been played in a mutual attack line.

In the first third of the half, Spartak had an overwhelming advantage, and almost every approach to the Orenburg goal was fraught with danger. However, at any moment the guests were ready to explode with a lightning counter-attack. Given the problems of the holders in defense, and also a very high defense line of the red and white, Guillermo Abascal’s wards had to be constantly on the alert.


By the middle of the first half, the game leveled off a little, the Orenburg players got used to the speed and began to possess the ball longer, making forays into the Spartak penalty area. Nobody promised the owners of the camp an easy life. And “Spartak”, in turn, at the end of the first segment lost three goalscoring chances in a row. Something was wrong with the red and white with seemingly 100% episode completion.

In terms of sets of beautiful but insignificant football chips in the form of various dribbling options, rabons, kicks through themselves and spectacular episodes, this game is the undisputed leader of the first round of the new RPL season. The Argentines from Orenburg and the international wizards from Spartak interspersed with the actions of Khlusevich or Zobnin made a real show out of the game. Guys know what it’s like to give warmth. Those ten thousand who came to the stands could have been satisfied: there were no goals, but everything else was in abundance.

Yet I found a scythe on a stone in stoppage time for the first half. A multiple move in the Orenburg penalty area with a back-heel pass from Anton Zinkovsky, a continuation of Quincy Promes, who turned out to be not greedy and rolled into an almost empty net to Viktor Moses. The star midfielder could not spoil a great moment and opened the scoring in the game. 1:0!


As soon as the second half began, and in the same line as the end of the first, closer to the 50th minute Vorobyov feinted Duarte out and calmly outplayed Maksimenko, leveling the score. It was after Spartak did not fly out to apologize to their fans, but the guests continued to storm the red and white doors. It was clearly seen that such a course of the match was not included in the plans of the capital’s team at all.

In the 60th minute of the match, Theo Bongonda made his Spartak debut, replacing, among other things, his counterpart in the position of Anton Zinkovsky. A little Congo heat in the PRL didn’t hurt. The former Spanish ‘Cadiz’ player immediately rushed into the thick of things, proving he was in business and bought him for good reason.


Five minutes have passed since Bongonda appeared on the pitch and he was already watching Maksimenko shoot the second ball out of his net. It is interesting that at this moment the promising legionnaire did not have the idea to return to La Liga? However, Florentin doubled the lead, once again proving that Orenburg is extremely inconvenient for Spartak – this, firstly, and secondly, old wounds in the form of bad defense clearly opened up for the red-and-whites.

Fifteen minutes before the end of regular time, the guests gave up the initiative, and Spartak desperately tried to build something ahead of time. And, apparently, it didn’t all go badly, but once again the whole process took place before entering the penalty area, but a surprise. But quantity sometimes turns into quality. Daniil Khlusevich received a pass from the ubiquitous Bongond, approached the center and hit the corner, making the Congolese’s debut for Spartak productive – 2:2.


And then the hosts decided to take the slack and began to stack fast attacks on top of each other. “Orenburg” had to finish the game for an acceptable result. An away draw with Spartak is a wonderful result for any club except Zenit. And yet, Abaskal’s wards have not had character problems since last season, in the 90th minute Daniya Khlusevich created a goal, scoring a brace and also bringing victory to the hosts. In addition, Quincy Promes, after receiving a wonderful pass from Bongond, also went face-to-face with the away goalkeeper, but shot wide. Save your goals for future games.

RPL. 1st round

Spartak – Orenburg – 3:2 (1:0)

Goals: Moses, 45 – 0:1, Mansilla, 51 – 1:1, Florentin, 67 – 1:2, Khlusevich, 75 – 2:2, Khlusevich, 90+1 – 3:2


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