Russia: Gazprom turn up heat as cup holders CSKA exit
CSKA Moscow, defending title holders of the Russian Cup, have been sensationally knocked out of this year’s competition having gone down to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of second-tier club Volgar-Gazprom Astrakhan. A goal in the 88th minute from Alan Chochiev ensured that the Army club, who have won six Russian Cups in the last decade, will not retain the title this time around. CSKA’s misery was complete in the 90th minute when Vasili Berezutski was shown a red card.
CSKA’s conquerors will now face FC Fakel Voronezh in the Round of 16 after the latter got the better of another Premier League club FK Krasnodar winning by the odd goal in three. It wasn’t a great day for the city of Krasnodar as its other team, FK Kuban, also lost to a lower league team in the form of Dynamo Bryansk who needed extra-time to see off their more-fancied opponents by a 3-1 score line.
For many of Russia’s traditional big clubs it was business as usual in the Round of 32 with the biggest winners being Dinamo Moscow whose 5-0 win over M. Saransk included a brace from Andrei Karyaka. 2010 cup winners Zenit St Petersburg came through with a 3-2 win over Khimki whilst Spartak Moscow had Welliton to thank as they won 1-0 against FK Istra. Premier League sides Anzhi Makhachkala and Terek Grozny saw off the challenges of Volga Ulyanovsk and FK Nizhny Novgorod respectively but Rubin Kazan, back-to-back Russian Premier League champions in 2008 & 2009, needed a penalty shootout to get past Ural Sverdlovskaya Oblast following a goalless draw between the two sides.
The draw for the Round of 16 stage has been made with the tie of the round being Dinamo Moscow, currently third in the Russian Premier League standings, hosting fifth place Anzhi Makhachkala. Ties are expected to be played in late September.