Location: Nizhny Novgorod, Lokomotiv Stadium Kick Off: 20:15 Attendance: 8,940
Score: Volga 2-1 Rubin Kazan – Danilenko 11′, Bibilov 48′ – Prudnikov 90+2′. Bookings: Karyaka 60′.
Volga XI: Pareiko, Kolodin, Kowalczyk, Rodić (Bordian 86′), Karyaka (Ropotan 77′), Aldonin, Kontsedalov, Putsila, Bibilov, Leandro, Danilenko (Bulykin 72′).
Rubin Kazan XI: Ryzhikov, César Navas, Kuzmin, Marcano, Mavinga, Karadeniz, Ryazantsev, Natcho (Kulik 66′), Torbinski (Prudnikov 74′), M’Vila, Mukhametshin (Eremenko 45′).
The last match on Sunday was held in the city of Nizhny Novgorod and saw 11th place Volga host 9th Rubin Kazan. Consistency has been a big problem for these two sides this season, something they will need to improve on if they wish to achieve their aims this season.
Before today Volga only managed to beat Rubin just the once in their last four meetings. Due to their hard work on and off the ball Volga managed take all three points after an inspired defensive display set them on their way to victory. Wasteful Rubin came up short and once again failed to win back to back games, something they haven’t achieved all season.
Volga looked confident in the early stages, they were rewarded after just 11 minutes as they took the lead. Putsila produced a smart turn to beat his marker on the edge of the area before playing the ball to Karyaka, his effort was saved by Ryzhikov but the Rubin keeper couldn’t keep hold of the ball palming it straight to the unmarked Danilenko, the 23-year-old calmly headed home. Rubin were unfortunate as replays showed Danilenko was offside when Karyaka had his effort on goal.
Volga continued to defend well and their attacks were causing problems for Rubin, they could have been 2-0 up shortly after the opener. Danilenko managed to get away from his marker as a corner came in, but he was denied a second goal due the heroics of Ryzhikov, the Rubin keeper producing a great save from point blank range.
Rubin finally started to find their way into the game, despite looking more comfortable in the game they continued to be wasteful, fans seeing a number of efforts rushed and sent way off the mark. Rubin were awarded a penalty before half time as Leandro brought down Karadeniz, replay show that the midfielder perhaps looked for the penalty sticking his foot out to make sure there was contact. Natcho stepped up for the spot kick but Israeli sent the ball wide.
Veteran striker Mukhametshin wasted two great chances in the half, first up M’Vila played the ball over the top to put the ball on a plate for Mukhametshin, he blazed his volley well over from close range. Mukhametshin was then played through on goal but the striker took far too much time as he slowed down to check if he was onside (he was) and he could only put his effort straight at Pareiko.
Volga came flying out of the blocks in the second half and Rubin had no answer for the wave after wave of Volga attacks. The pressure Volga put on Rubin paid off, on 48 minutes Karyaka managed to beat 4 defenders before poking the ball to Danilenko. The striker cleverly flicked the ball to Bibilov who had aches of space, he picked his spot and tucked the ball away.
Whenever Rubin attacked Volga had an answer, it was often Pareiko who was impressive between the sticks. He was called upon on a number of occasions. One occasion was to deny Karadeniz as the Rubin skipper looked to get his side back into the game. Karadeniz was breathing down on goal, but he also had a defender breathing down his neck, the skipper had a decent attempt at but Pareiko matched it. This continued throughout the match Pareiko was there when his team needed him. The Volga defenders put their bodies on the line time after time, Rubin frustrated and they were almost punished as they looked for a way back. Volga broke quickly and almost grabbed a third but unfortunately substitute Ropotan couldn’t keep his footing to put the ball past Ryzhikov, the chance came after a long ball forward was picked up by Mavinga, the left back was then robbed by Ropotan.
A clean sheet was in sight for Volga and it would have been a deserved bonus, however in the 92nd minute Rubin finally found a way past the brick wall that was the Volga defence. Prudnikov was on the end of a cross, his first attempt was with his head which hit the back of a defender before dropping nicely for him to drill past Pareiko.
Overall Volga played very well, they were very strong at the back and had Pareiko to thank for a number of good saves. Going forward they were promising, breaking quickly a number times and they certainly deserved all three points. Rubin were far too wasteful, they kept running out of ideas and struggled up front, they certainly miss Rondon. They were unlucky that Volga’s first wasn’t ruled out for offside but for both goals they should have defended a lot better.
Volga and Rubin both have 16 points after 13 games, Rostov in 8th also have 16 after their loss against Krylya Sovetov. Rubin will be hoping to turn things around soon, 10th place isn’t where they should be. Volga are doing well and if they continue to pick up good results like today then they shouldn’t have trouble staying up.