FK Rostov 2-1 Zenit St. Petersburg: Rostov Dumps Powder Blues

Sergey ZikovSenior Analyst IMay 3, 2009

ROSTOV: Zenit St. Petersburg suffered its first defeat of the season at Rostov, giving up a late goal by Moldovan Alexandru Gatcan in the 86th minute.

On a day where league-leader Kryliya Sovetov fell in decisive fashion to CSKA Moscow, Zenit could not find the composure to capitalize.

Zenit was sloppy defensively all game long, and it didn't seem to matter what combination Dick Advocaat put on the field.

The defensive corps played with fire and got away with it, until Rostov finally came through late.

Dmitri Akimov began the scoring after halftime for Rostov, which did not sit well with Advocaat, judging by how many scoring opportunities Zenit strikers had in the first period.

Fatih Tekke missed a few golden opportunities, getting his second consecutive start of the season. Danny also hit the woodwork.

The first goal of the game lead to Zenit substitutions, while Rostov stuck with a four-striker format until nearly the end of the game.

Pavel Pogrebnyak came on in the 64th minute for the vastly ineffective Sszabolcs Huszti, while youngster Aleksei Ionov came on for his third appearance of the season, all by substitution.

Pogrebnyak got the equalizer in the 83rd minute, off a penalty kick. Danny drove a crossing ball from the left, but it was batted down by the hand of Mikhail Rozhkov.

Rostov keeper Veniamin Mandrykin got a hand on the blast by Pogrebnyak, but not enough to keep it out.

A collectively poor effort by the Powder Blues on defense allowed the match-winning goal by Gatcan.

Zenit frustration was painfully obvious, as Tekke received a yellow and red card in the final two minutes.

Advocaat had some high praise for Rostov after the match.

"I would like to congratulate Rostov with the victory, they deserved the three points. They played smart and error-free." 

The Powder blues will face Kryliya Sovetov next weekend at Petrovski Stadium.

Other Notes

Zenit St. Petersburg resumed talks with Juventus about a possible transfer of striker Vincenzo Iaquinta to St. Petersburg this summer. Despite playing very well, Iaquinta is still buried behind players like Alessandro Del Piero and Carvalo De Oliveira Amauri.

2008-09 Russian Champions FK Rubin Kazan annihilated Saturn Moscow, 0-5 to jump into first place. Former Zenit midfielder Alejandro Damian Dominguez scored the first three goals for Kazan.

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