Baltika – Zenit – 1:0, video, goal by Angelo Henriquez, match review and statistics, August 30, 2023, Russian Cup

Baltika – Zenit – 1:0, video, goal by Angelo Henriquez, match review and statistics, August 30, 2023, Russian Cup

RPL debutant beat the champion! Semak’s experiments ended in the defeat of Zenit

Anatoly Romanov

Baltika - Zenit - 1:0, video

Audio version:

Baltika is the sole leader of the group.

“Baltika” beat “Zenith” in the match of the leaders of group C Fonbet Cup of Russia! Now Kaliningraders have three wins and nine points. The Petersburgers have six points left.

Zenit had a truly experimental squad in Kaliningrad. In the 3-5-2 formation, the trio of central defenders were Alip and two full-time wingers – Krugovoi (to the left) and Fernandez (to the right). Bakaev turned into a wingback and covered the entire right edge, while right-hander Sutormin covered the left edge. This composition was completed by an unplayed trio of centrhavs from Erokhin, newcomer Kovalenko and yesterday’s understudy Vasiliev. Just ahead, the champion of Russia had a pair of Sergeev – Mantuan, more or less close to the base: this duet went to the base with Spartak.

In the first minutes, Bakaev, who made several crazy accelerations, was in the spotlight. When Zenit attacked, he rose high to the usual winger position, and Fernandez went to the right in the line of defenders. First, Zelimkhan created a scoring chance for Mantuan with a subtle pass (the Brazilian shot poorly, being completely free on the penalty line), and then he threw Fernandez into the gap with a non-standard heel pass. Mario performed a good cross, and Sutormin almost hit the empty far corner.

Nevertheless, Zenit did not have an advantage over Baltika in terms of the game. Except that in possession of the ball, the Petersburgers surpassed the Kaliningraders. The team of Sergei Ignashevich was not at all afraid of the favorite, and won the end of the first half by knockout. “Baltika” in 45 minutes almost three times interrupted “Zenith” – 11:4 (on target – 3:2). The first hit on target was enough for the hosts to score after a corner before the break. The goalkeeper of “Zenith” Vasyutin and hit the ball is not very successful, and when finishing Enriquez was deep in the gate. The VAR officials determined that the ball had completely crossed the line. Moreover, Baltika also hit the post!

Semak reacted to the terrible end of the first half with a triple substitution: after the break, the main players entered the field – Wendel, Douglas Santos and Karavaev. But at the beginning of the second half, the game continued in the same vein. It was felt that the players of Baltika were better prepared to win the cup match, their motivation was higher. It’s not just about the rotation of the squad, which Ignashevich also used. The Kaliningraders won the standards, and in the 50th minute they almost scored again after a corner. Avanesyan again hit the woodwork – now the crossbar.

Analysis of the mistakes of the referees in the last round of the championship:

Karpin's team was forgiven by the judges for the first time this season.  Updated table of errors of RPL referees

Karpin’s team was forgiven by the judges for the first time this season. Updated table of errors of RPL referees

Only after an hour of the match did Zenit come to its senses. The players of Baltika got tired, as the Kaliningraders did not want to cling to their own penalty area and met the opponent higher, and the champion increased the number of base players – Cassierra got up from the bench, then Claudinho. Even before their appearance, the Petersburgers created their best moment in 60 minutes. Douglas Santos shot from outside the penalty area, goalkeeper Latyshonok parried the ball in front of him, and Sutormin was at the right point on the rebound. But in this case, the bar has already played for the hosts.

The last minutes were spent in Zenit’s positional attacks. “Baltika” organized and, in the opinion of the outside, calmly defended the minimum advantage. Semak did not stop experimenting: in the end, Krugovoi attacked on the right, and Sutormin attacked on the left. Apparently, with the aim that both would have the opportunity to move to the half-flanks and to the center for sharpening passes and strikes from there. But this move did not help the champion to escape. As a result of the match, Zenit lost a lot in shots (8:17, on target – 3:5) and suffered their first defeat in the Russian Cup.

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