The concluding fixtures saw a dramatic end to the Putin Cup with Dynamo having completed their fixtures powerless to effect the outcome and only being able to hope that Spartak could do them a favour by taking at least a point from Lokomotiv.
CSKA Moscow 0 v 2 Zenit
CSKA who until their last two fixtures looked like contenders for the cup hosted a Zenit side still looking to get their first points on the board.
The visitors recent improvement continued as they got off to the perfect start on 9 minutes when Van Ginkel latched on to a ball from Danny hitting it first time to give Valdes no chance in the CSKA goal.
CSKA weren’t going to make it easy though with Lodygin being called into action to prevent efforts from Benteks and Djuricic from levelling things.
Zenit however sealed victory in the second half when on 67 minutes Danny again was the provider this time for Dzyuba whose first touch took him past his marker before rifling a shot past Valdes.
A late effort from Dos Santos nearly gave the hosts the goal that their play had deserved but again found Lodygin on form in the Zenit net.
CSKA Chief Smith will be glad to see the back of this tournament that for so long promised so much and can now concentrate fully on their Div 3 promotion push, for Hassan he will be pleased to have finally broken their duck in the tournament and will hope they can carry the form into their push to move safely away from the Div 2 drop zone.
Spartak Moscow 1 v 2 Lokomotiv Moscow
It was a must win game for Loko who were looking for 3 points to overhaul Dynamo and clinch the Putin Cup at the death.
It started well for the visitors when in the 9thminute Mamaev threaded a ball through to Vucinic who stoked a sweet shot into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of Alvarado.
But the hosts weren’t going to lie down and within 4 minutes had drawn level, Popov neatly played in Berg who from close range made no mistake giving Guilherme no chance in the Loko goal.
If the nerves were beginning to jangle in the Loko camp they were eased on the 24 minute mark when Zurutza squared a ball to Mamaev who’s dipping shot left Alvarado stranded.
Having made it to half time with their lead in tact Loko came out for the second half with slightly less attacking intent and happy to absorb Spartak pressure and had Guilherme to thank on 50 minutes when he saved from a great Popov effort.
Spartak were struggling to make inroads into Lokos defense and when they did they found Guilherme equal to the challenge notably saving from Shirokov in the 73rd minute which could have set up a grandstand finish.
But despite Spartaks efforts they could not find away through and as the referee blew the final whistle it signalled jubilant celebrations from the away supporters.
Dynamo Boss Razzaque can have no complaints at the effort that Spartak put into this game and manager Houston will be looking for that effort to be carried on into their Div 2 promotion push. For Loko Gaffer Owen he can look forward to planning for the World Club Cup and also transferring the clubs cup performances into the league.
|Zenit St Petersburg||8||1||0||7||7||14||-7||3|
Another great report thanks David! What a great competition – and I'm not just saying that because I won the Putin Cup 😉 Tight competition that went right down to the wire.