Monday, June 1, 2009

CSKA Triumph Over Rubin To Win Russian Cup

Zico has added to his cups wins in Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Uzbekistan, with victory in Khimi.

1 Jun 2009

CSKA Moscow beat league champions Rubin Kazan 1-0 in the Russian Cup final on Sunday.
The Army Men achieved back-to-back Russian Cups and their fifth Rambler title overall.

CSKA’s Russian international midfielder Yevgeny Aldonin won the game right at the death, the 29-year-old scoring one minute into added time.

The two clubs met in the Russian Super Cup right at the beginning of the season and CSKA took that match 2-1. So, Rubin were looking to exact revenge against the capital outfit.

The Super Cup was held at the Luzhniki stadium but this time the final took place in the Arena-Khimki stadium near Moscow. Cup finals have traditionally been held at the Luzhniki, but as CSKA play the majority of their home games at that venue (which has an artificial pitch), the Russian Football Union felt that they would have an unfair advantage.

Lokomotiv Moscow's 28,000-capacity ground could not be used as they were playing Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League over the same weekend.

Rubin, who are top of the Rusian Premier League with a two-point lead over second-placed CSKA, hail from Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, some 770 kms (450 miles) from Moscow.

Right before the game, Rubin’s Turkish midfielder Gokdeniz Karadeniz said that the former Red Army side had an advantage in the final.
"Even if the game is taking place in Khimki you must understand that it doesn't change much," he told Sport-Express. "Our opponents will feel at home there. After all, their fans won't have to travel a whole day on the train to get to the game."

CSKA manager Zico also spoke to the newspaper before the game.
"I've managed to win quite a few cups in Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Uzbekistan," he said. "I hope I'll be able to add the Russian Cup to that collection on Sunday."

CSKA went looking for early goals and created some danger in Rubin’s box in the opening minute.

However, the Army Men did it the hard way, with the Moscow club reduced to 10 men in only the 13th minute, after Russian under-21 international midfielder Pavel Mamayev was sent off after bringing down Argentine playmaker Alejandro Dominguez as the last man.

Rubin didn’t give up their cautious play, despite the advantage in numbers. They controlled the ball well, but it was CSKA who created the biggest chances of the half.

Kazan 'keeper Sergey Ryzhikov produced a skilful save from a header that Niger striker Moussa Maazou connected well with, the cross coming courtesy of a free kick by Brazilian attacker Daniel Carvalho.

The game remained equal in the second half. It seemed that Rubin were waiting for CSKA to get tired and/or make a mistake.

A draw and extra time was looming as normal time was coming to an end. Then Yevgeny Aldonin announced himself as the hero. The midfielder launched a powerful shot from outside the box in the first minute of stoppage time, slotting the ball straight into the lower corner and leaving Ryzhikov no chance.

There were four minutes left to play, but shocked Rubin failed to grab an equaliser, meaning CSKA lifted the Russian Cup for the second year in a row.

CSKA boss Zico, who took over at the club in January, has now won his first Russian trophy.

The Rubin Kazan coach, Kurban Berdyev, was gracious in defeat when he spoke to Sport-Express:
"I congratulate the Army Men with a well-deserved victory. The international experience they have is an invaluable thing, which is especially necessary for such matches. And this experience paid off today. In such games it’s important to endure and to play to the end. These are the things we must learn from CSKA."

The Army Men will now have the trophy in permanent keeping as they have won it for the fifth time.

Con Stamocostas,

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