“Spartak” went to “Yenisei”: RPL clubs start in the Cup of Russia

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While some of our clubs are starting their way in European competitions, for other RPL teams, except for Dynamo Moscow and Rostov, the time is coming for the elite group stage of the Russian Cup. On Wednesday, October 21, nine fights with their participation will be held. It is especially worth noting the Spartak match in Krasnoyarsk, to which the red-and-whites went with an almost optimal composition.

With UEFA approval

The elite group stage, in fact, replaced the 1/32 and 1/16 finals cup stages. And it was called “elite” because representatives of the RPL also joined the PFL and FNL clubs, which started earlier. But only those who do not represent Russia in the European competition of the 2020/21 season. They connect from the 1/8 finals and will receive opponents at their stadium. The RFU even had to make a special agreement with UEFA about the fact that the games of the group stage take place on the same days as the matches of the European cups.

It is also experimental that the composition of the groups meets a clear criterion – one team from RPL, FNL and PFL. This was done, among other things, to ensure that clubs from the regions, from the third-largest Russian league, would have the opportunity to play with teams from the elite division. Amateur football and farm clubs are not represented in the Cup this time. The reason – alas, has already become commonplace: the coronavirus. Due to the pandemic, it was decided to replace two games at all stages of the playoffs with one. There is no extra time in the Russian Cup, and at all stages of the tournament, including the group. If the main time ends in a draw, the teams take a penalty kick. The system of scoring at the group stage is also unusual: for a victory in regular time – 3 points, for a victory on penalties – 2, for a defeat on penalties – 1 point.

“To popularize football in the regions, changing the format of the Russian Cup is the right decision,” ex-goalkeeper of Zenit and Dynamo Roman Berezovsky told Izvestia. – But, Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, matches are played with a small number of spectators. Hopefully, when all restrictions are lifted, we will really see the effect of the Cup reform.

Enisey is ready for a surprise

Representatives of the “elite” this time take the Cup of Russia quite seriously. In the first round, they left no stone unturned from the representatives of the PFL, playing on the opponent’s field and scoring nine victories in 10 matches (Rotor was credited with a technical defeat against Dynamo Stavropol). Now – the opponents are toothy, from the FNL. And again the younger ones play on their fields. So that, in terms of intrigue, the third round will be the most interesting.

The greatest attention, of course, to the match at the Central Stadium in Krasnoyarsk, where the local Yenisey will host Moscow’s Spartak. Domenico Tedesco’s team flew to Eastern Siberia with almost the main team (with the exception of the newcomer Viktor Moses). But Alexander Kokorin and Zelimkhan Bakaev can play against Enisey.

Spartak and Yenisei won their last matches in the championships with the same score 3: 2. The red and whites won a strong-willed victory over Khimki away, while Enisey defeated Chaika at home. But if the red and white are among the leaders of the RPL, then Krasnoyarsk is only tenth in the FNL with a serious density of the table.

Recall that these clubs are united by Spartak legend Dmitry Alenichev. After retirement from Spartak, the next club in Alenichev’s career as a coach was just Enisey. Dmitry Anatolyevich managed to become the only mentor in history who brought the Krasnoyarsk team to the RPL. True, only for one season. However, Yenisei did not collapse after being demoted in the class, as it often happened with other teams, and again sets itself the highest goals.

Kazan “Rubin” Leonid Slutsky postponed the showdown in Khabarovsk until early November (the game was postponed at the request of the Kazan club). From the rest of the matches one can distinguish the Volga derby Krylya Sovetov – Rotor, the game of recent rivals for survival in the RPL Orenburg – Sochi and the match Chertanovo – Ufa. Rashid Rakhimov will have a chance to win the first victory after his appointment as the head coach of the Bashkirs, and 15-year-old prodigy Sergey Pinyaev, who has recovered from an injury, can play for Chertanovo. It would be interesting to see him at the level of such a serious opponent.

“Sergei Pinyaev is really capable of growing into a top player,” former coach of the Russian national team Boris Ignatiev told Izvestia. – He has good inclinations, football thinking at a high level. Now the main thing is that he does not catch star fever from all this fuss around him, but continues to train well and improve. It is also important to have the right people around him. In this case, in a couple of years we will see Sergei performing at the highest level. Perhaps even in a strong European championship. Still, Manchester United’s interest in the striker is not accidental.

Pinyaev is the youngest player to score in the FNL: he was then 15 years old, nine months and ten days old. Sergey broke Daniil Shamkin’s record by more than a year: the Zenit-2 midfielder scored against Tambov in March 2019, when he was 16 years old, 11 months and three days old (now 18-year-old Shamkin is in Zenit’s cage, in the 2019/20 league season, he entered the field in four matches).

Match schedule (Moscow time)

14:00 Veles – Ural

15:00 Enisey – Spartak

15:00 Tekstilshchik – Arsenal

16:00 Dynamo Br – Tambov

17:00 Orenburg – Sochi

18:00 Wings of the Soviets – Rotor

18:30 Shinnik – Akhmat

18:30 Nizhny Novgorod – Khimki

19:00 “Chertanovo” – “Ufa”

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