TOMSK, Trud Stadium -- Visiting Zenit St. Petersburg made quick work of a neglectful Tom side, claiming three important road points.
With the decisive victory, Zenit now move to the top of the Russian Premier League with seven points in three games. Tom fall to 11thplace overall with three points.
Dirk Advocaat changed up the lines a bit, inserting Korean defenseman Kim Dong-Jin into the starting lineup for the first time all season, while giving veteran midfielder Radek Sirl the afternoon off.
The powder blues had a tough going at first. Maybe the long travel east made a difference. The home crowd was active in the match and Tom had several scoring chances, but no shots on net. Lone Tomsk striker Vladimir Dyadyun looked often bogged down at times with no help up front.
But Tom were plagued with penalties and the yellows began to mount for a side that was already looking very overmatched.
Zenit striker Pavel Pogrebniak had a great look at the net right before half, but he was denied by keeper. Several possible fireworks, but no results on the board and Tom breath a sigh of relief to be going in tied at zero.
However, Zenit came out determined to come away with the three points.
Wave after wave of powder blue attack came at the locals, and it seemed like only a matter of time before the first tally went up. Soon enough, the tie would be broken.
A perfect corner kick from 22-year-old Victor Fayzulin was dumped into the far side of the cage by none other than Portuguese import Fernando Meira, his first goal in a Zenit uniform.
Advocaat's side would not let up, as they kept flying through a punchless Tom defense like scissors through tissue paper. They knew a one goal advantage was not safe in a hostile environment.
Only minutes later, Miguel Danny came dashing through the defense and fired a cross into the middle, which was promptly shot by Pogrebniak. It was blocked, but the defender attempted a clear which ended up right on the foot of Zenit midfielder Igor Denisov, who bagged the goal for a two-nil lead.
The two goals in rapid succession lead to some Tom substitutes. Veteran defender and National Team member Igor Semshov came on in favor of Croatian Ivica Krizanac to help shore up the lines.
Tomsk pulled the vastly ineffective Dyadyun in favor of Anton Arkhipov.
The changes for Tom seemed to have little effect, as they still struggled to make way through the Zenit lines. The crowd was eerily silent.
Turkish delight Fatih Tekke came on in the 74th minute, and it didn't take him long to get to work. Not even ten minutes later, midfielder Konstantin Zyryanov flashed his brilliance as the seas parted, running through five Tom defenders. With only the keeper to beat, he calmly passed it off to a flanking Tekke, who easily deposited it into the empty net.
Three to nil, Zenit. Warm up the busses, our work here is done.
The final scoresheet gave Zenit nine shots on goal, to Tom's zero.
Scoring: Zenit St. Petersburg 3 (Meira 54', Denisov 59', Tekke 83'), Tom Tomsk 0
Yellow Cards: Zenit St. Petersburg (Dong-Jin 40'), Tom Tomsk (Smirnov 24', Klimov 32', Evsikov 39', Ivanov '70)
Red Cards: None
- Zenit (2-1-0) now sports a +4 goal differential and leads Terek for first place.
- Zenit will now head home to the friendly confines of the Petrovsky Sports Centre for a match on Apr. 12 with Amkar Perm, who has yet to score a goal this season.