Melkadze masterful as FC Tambov win relegation six-pointer

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FC Tambov 3-0 Krylia Sovetov Samara

Monday 16 March, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Goals: Melkadze (33’), Obukhov (55’), Kilin (81’)

Man of the Match: Georgi Melkadze

FC Tambov comfortably swept aside rivals Krylia Sovetov Samara despite holding just 27 % possession to leapfrog their visitors out of the relegation zone. Goals from Georgi Melkadze, Vladimir Obukhov and Anton Kilin handed them a 3-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod.

Melkadze was heavily involved in FC Tambov’s early threat as his effort from outside the area after 11 minutes was held by Evgeniy Frolov. A minute later he released Obukhov down the left channel but again Krylia’s keeper was comfortably behind the shot.

Five minutes later he received a loose ball from a deep free kick in a surprising amount of space near the corner of the six-yard box. The angle was too tight to create a clear opening but he still forced Frolov to turn the ball behind.

After half an hour he finally got the better of Frolov. Evgeniy Shlyakov swept a magnificent crossfield pass to the right flank where Anton Kilin crossed in toward Obukhov. Although Maksim Karpov won the header, Melkadze was lurking to set himself and drill a low finish into the bottom left corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Other than the odd pot-shot from Kabutov, Krylia Sovetov were struggling to get a foothold on the game, although a few minutes before the break they very nearly pulled an equaliser out of the blue. Dejan Radonjic spotted Mikhail Glushenkov had got the run on his marker and hit a long ball into the youngster’s path. 

Giorgi Shelia came well off his line to sweep up the danger. With the last touch of the half, Obukhov’s direct free kick up the other end curled around the wall but Frolov kept it out at full stretch.

FC Tambov were far more efficient by half time; despite enjoying just 32% possession, they managed nine shots with seven on target. In contrast, none of Krylia Sovetov’s four efforts were on target. 

Shortly after the break though, Kabutov improved that statistic. Aleksandr Anyukov’s excellent cross grazed off Radonjic’s head to the winger, but he fired into the side netting from a few yards out. 

Moments later he hit a swerving, dipping shot form range that Shelia could only palm away. Anyukov himself managed to sky an awkwardly bouncing cross over the bar from two yards out.

The renaissance was short lived, however, when Obukhov doubled FC Tambov’s lead between those chances after a shocking error from Nikita Chernov. Yurganov lumped a harmless ball forwards which the former CSKA Moscow defenders passed weakly back straight into Obukhov’s path. The sudden one-on-one was finished through Frolov’s legs.

As time began to run down Krylia Sovetov ramped up the pressure. Anyukov was inches away from turning in a low cross, while a corner was glanced into Shelia’s arms.

Once again though, a long ball caught out Krylia Sovetov’s defence. When Shelia kicked from hand with 10 minutes left, Denis Popovic found himself marking Kilin but couldn’t keep up. Kilin calmly slotted past the hapless Frolov.

With the game already gone Miodrag Bozovic sent on Safaa Hadi - the first Iraqi to ever play in the Russian Premier Liga - for his debut in the final five minutes. 

In the last minute of normal time he came agonisingly close to scoring but could only graze the faintest of touches wide from Dmitriy Kombarov’s free kick. His 30-yard rocket in added time had Shelia scrambling as it flew just wide.

FC Tambov are due to travel to take on FC Ufa on Sunday 22 March next, while Krylia Sovetov’s next fixture is at home to Akhmat Grozny on the same day.

FC Tambov: Shelia, Kilin, Oyewole (Yurganov 46’), Gritsaenko, Filin, Shlyakov, Tetrashvili, Ciuperca, Kostyukov (Fedchuk 45’), Melkadze, Obukhov (Mamtov 78’)

Krylia Sovetov Samara: Frolov, Anyukov, Karpov, Chernov, Zeffane, Timofeev (Hadi 86’), Anton, Glushenkov (Kombarov 62’), Popovic, Kabutov, Radonjic (Golenkov 56’)

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