Despotovic double drags FC Orenburg clear of relegation zone

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FC Orenburg 2-0 Arsenal Tula

Saturday 7 March, Gazovik Stadium

Goals: Djordje Despotovic (13’, 77’)

Sent off: Robert Bauer (74’)

Man of the Match: Djordje Despotovic

Djordje Despotovic’s double dragged FC Orenburg three points clear of the relegation zone as they ended Arsenal Tula’s three-match winning run. Mikhail Levashov’s blunder allowed the Serbian to nip in and steal an opener early on before a fine header late on sealed the win.

The hosts started with a high tempo as Ricardo Alves and Danijel Miskic - the latter after Mohammed Sylla’s electric pace on the left wing - both fired over in the opening 10 minutes. After 13 minutes a harmless back-pass from Maksim Belyaev was controlled forward by Mikhail Levashov to gift Despotovic the easiest of tap-ins.

Arsenal Tula tried to hit back through weak headers from Evgeniy Lutsenko and Goran Causic before decent link-up play between Lutsenko and Sergey Tkachev created an opening for the former to shoot low at Andrey Klimovich.

Ten minutes after the break they came much closer when Causic chested down Kirill Kombarov’s right-wing cross six yards out, but he couldn’t keep his shot down. Sergey Terekhov and Uros Radakovic both missed great chances, the latter’s header hitting the crossbar from Alves’ free kick 20 minutes into the second half.

Robert Bauer was then sent off after two bookings, both for fouling Joel Fameyeh, shortly after the Ghanaian had blazed a shot into the side netting from six yards. Two minutes later Despotovic timed his run to perfection to bullet home Andrey Malykh’s cross.

Fameyeh, Filip Rogic and Terekhov all had shots saved or blocked in a late goalmouth scramble but by then the result was not in doubt.

FC Orenburg travel to take on FC Sochi next, while Arsenal Tula host Rubin Kazan.

FC Orenburg: Klimovich, Terekhov, Sivakov, Radakovic, Malykh, Kuat (Rogic 64’), Miskic, Ricardo Alves (Cernych 85’), Ayupov, Despotovic, Sylla (Fameyeh 61’)

Arsenal Tula: Levashov, Kombarov, Grigalava, Belyaev, Alvarez, Bauer (sent off 74’), Tkachev (E. Kangwa 77’), Causic, Lesovoy (Lomovitskiy 46’), K. Kangwa, Lutsenko

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