Kokorin inspires third FC Sochi win on the bounce

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FC Sochi 2-0 FC Krasnodar

Sunday 15 March, Fisht Olympic Stadium

Goals: Noboa (47’), Mostovoy (90’+3)

Man of the Match: Aleksandr Kokorin

Cristian Noboa’s deflected goal just after half time and Andrey Mostovoy’s added time tap-in ended FC Krasnodar’s 11-match unbeaten run, extended FC Sochi’s winning run to three games and temporarily lifted his side out of the relegation playoff zone. Despite enjoying about half the possession of the visitors FC Sochi had almost twice as many shots on goal.

FC Sochi carried their recent upturn of form into their meeting with second-placed FC Krasnodar and dominated large parts of the first half. Just two minutes in, Noboa really should have tested Matvey Safonov when in acres of space on the edge of the box but he shot wide.

Five minutes in Aleksandr Kokorin struck the post after being set through by a perfectly weighted through-ball. His subtle flick behind his back found Kirill Zaika out wide moments later; after outmuscling Wanderson his cross back in was glanced wide by Anton Zabalotniy.

Midway through the opening period Kokorin was again the threat for the hosts as he robbed Sergey Petrov of the ball on the halfway line. Racing through into the box he smashed a powerful shot on target that Safonov turned away.

FC Krasnodar enjoyed the majority of possession without carving out any clear chances. Manuel Fernandes bent a shot just wide after a rapid counter-attack just before the half-hour mark, while Ari had to stretch to poke a low cross wide.

Wanderson blazed over from the edge of the area five minutes before the break having failed to make the most of a one-on-one break moments earlier. 

Within seconds of the restart, Kokorin once again drew a save from Safonov with a left-footed effort from 20 yards. A minute later though, and the hosts were ahead.

Noboa collected the loose ball after Kokorin was challenged, and after feinting inside Kristoffer Olsson he shot with his left foot. Yuriy Gazinskiy got back to make a touch, but his deflection only succeeded in looping the ball over a helpless Safonov.

On 57 minutes Marcus Berg used his strength and anticipation to spin between Miha Mevlja and Ivan Novoseltsev. Despite the close attentions of the former he still got a shot away but couldn’t beat Soslan Dzhanaev.

Ari volleyed Sergey Petrov’s chipped cross straight into Dzhanaev’s arms moments later before supersub Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov was thrown on. The Brazilian-born forward was picked out by Wanderson a few minutes later with a cut-back but again fired directly at Dzhanaev.

Four minutes from time Kokorin struck a rocket of a free-kick at Safonov which the young keeper could only parry away. Deep into added time Kokorin cleverly chipped the ball to himself to break the defensive line where Safonov was out quickly to thwart his attempt.

The loose ball was hit first-time by Timofey Margasov straight back in towards an unmarked Andrey Mostovoy to side-foot into an unguarded net. 

FC Sochi have their sixth consecutive home matchup next when they welcome FC Rostov on Friday 20 March. FC Krasnodar host Dynamo Moscow on Sunday 22 March.

FC Sochi: Dzhanaev, Margasov, Miladinovic, Mevlja, Novoseltsev (Kalugin 90’), Zaika, Noboa, Tsallagov, Mostovoy, Kokorin (Karapetyan 90’+4), Zabalotniy (Burmistrov 73’)

FC Krasnodar: Safonov, Petrov, Kaio, Martynovich, Ramirez, Gazinskiy (Utkin 60’), Olsson, Wanderson, Ari, Fernandes (Suleymanov 65’), Berg

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