Petersburg “Zenith” players defeated Serbian “Crvena Zvezda” in a friendly match.
The match played in Sochi on Sunday ended with Zenit’s 2nd victory. Red Star Stars.
Outside of this season, almost all Russian clubs play only with compatriots. There are two exceptions – “Orenburg” went to training camp in Turkey, where he played with “Gaziantep” and Moldovan “Dynamo-Avto”, and “Zenith” brought Serbian champions “Crvena Zvezda” to Russia.
Petersburgers’ home arena was occupied by a concert of the Zemlyane group, so the Blue-White-Blues went to Sochi for the first and possibly only international match of the season.
They did everything possible to warm up: posters of Claudinho, Mostov and Red Star players were hung all over Sochi: from the airport to the small fan shop of the local hockey team in a trendy hotel. The efforts were not in vain – as a result, more than 30 thousand spectators came to the match. They say that in Russia there is no friendly match with such participation.
Journalists were excited by the transfer intrigue: a few days before the match, rumors appeared on the network about the upcoming transition to Zenit defender Strahinja Erakovic. Imagination painted a picture of how a football player spent the first half for the Serbian club, changing his jersey during the timeout and returning to St. He made his debut for the St. Petersburg team.
Unfortunately, the intrigue broke up on the morning of the match: Zenit CEO Alexander Medvedev and Crvena Zvezda CEO Zvezdan Terzic signed a cooperation agreement and simultaneously denied all the rumors about the upcoming transfer.
At first, Medvedev joked that he didn’t know who Erakovic was, but later explained that Zenit had enough of a right-footed center defender, they needed someone “with the same magic as Yaroslav Rakitsky”. This is definitely not about Erakovic.
Although there are no transfer intrigues yet, newcomer Mateo Cassierra arrived in Sochi with Zenit. The Colombian made a name for himself in Russia with goals against Sochi at Fisht and now have to make his debut for the Blue-White-Blues almost at a local stadium. True, Cassierra did not make it to the starting lineup. As well as Dejan Lovren, who is recovering from a serious injury. Both legionnaires were in reserve.
Beer against modesty
“Zenith” prepared a lot of entertainment, from the pre-match mini-amusement park to the signing ceremony of Andrey Arshavin and Vladislav Radimov, but the beer that suddenly appeared in the arena was the highlight of the night. Rumors that the sparkling beverage would feature in football for the first time since 2005 had surfaced in advance, but were painstakingly denied.
It turns out that they denied this for nothing – at least four different types of beer were sold at the food stalls before the game. And to the reporters’ question whether it is non-alcoholic, the seller categorically answered: “Just no alcohol!” Apparently the beer queue was longer than Arshavin and Radimov’s signatures…
The beer purchased was supposed to lighten up the fans in a very modest halftime. The Serbs tried to act actively, they beat the young Daniil Odoevsky a lot in the castle, but most often they were infected from deadly positions. He came to a real rescue from the power of time.
Zenit united in Brazil but lost the ball at the critical moment. As a result, they ran for 45 minutes goalless.
Lovren’s return and Cassierra’s debut
Immediately after the break, “Zenith” visibly cheered up. At first, the gaping goalkeeper Milan Boryan almost threw the ball over the collar, and then Claudinho and Mostovoy played a long-distance duet – the Serbian goalkeeper reacted to the blow from the Brazilians, but did not cope with the finish.
Not only did the players celebrate the goal on the field – a few minutes after Mostovoy’s accurate shot, a fan who ran for a minute between the players, hugged one of the dark-skinned legionnaires of the Red Star Stars and calmly entered the grass, fell into the hands of the commissars in the room below the stands.
A more anticipated appearance came soon after this breakthrough, with Lovren replacing Dmitry Chistyakov and wearing a Zenit jersey for the first time since December 2021. First of all, the Croatian got the captain’s armband back – from Douglas Santos, who left for backup.
Cassierra also took her time, although they didn’t meet her very happily. A separate whistle from the people of Sochi was added to the applause of the Zenit fans. True, the Colombian was not embarrassed. Four minutes after taking the field, he scored his first goal for Zenit. In the end, Katai scored a goal, but the Petersburgers retained the victory.
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