Published on Saturday, 23 January 2016

IMG 8713Kiryakov's hat trick, Gerasimets' double and a draw in the end!

Sergey Gorlukovich, the Olympic football champion, brought a veteran team Russia composed mostly of Moscow players onto the artificial SCC pitch as a captain. However, Gorlukovich himself hasn't played more than several starting minutes on pitch, retiring invisibly to the bench. But even without famous players, the veteran team of Russia had someone to look at. Dmitri Khlestov (Spartak) – seven times Champion of Russia, and a USSR Champion Alexander Mirzoyan (Neftchi Baku, Ararat Yerevan and again Spartak) who also acted as the delegation head, were forming the bastion of the defense aiding to the ex-goalkeeper of CSKA – the mighty Valery Novikov. Sergey Kiryakov, the famous skillful forward of four national teams – the USSR first, the USSR Olympic, the CIS and the Russian – is at his traditional attacking end. And the midfield was a surprise from the away team: the whole game was played by... nominal defenders – a USSR Champion Akhrik Tsveiba, a former player of three Dynamos (Tbilisi, Kyiv and Moscow), Erik Yakhimovich, an ex-defender for Dynamo Moscow, and Aleksandr Shmarko, a former defender of Rotor Volgograd. All the three have wisely distributed their energy for the two 20-minute halves.

Veteran team of St. Petersburg (whose average age was a bit higher thanks to the core of the team formed with glorious USSR Champions of Zenit-84) had nothing to do but respond with another surprise. Right before the match the team was supplemented with... an international player – Mikhail Zemlinsky from Riga, a long-time defender of team Latvia. He has just recently finished his playing career and his mobility was of great aid to St. Petersburg veterans. Andrey Pletnev brought defend devotion and Sergei Gerasimets was energetically aiming at the goals (both played for Zenit in the mid and late 1990s correspondingly) – both being a great aid to the home team.

The attack of Zenit-84, the most beloved by St. Petersburg supporters, showed in its best: Sergey Dmitriyev, Yury Gerasimov, and Boris Chukhlov! Meanwhile, there was an obvious lack of pure defenders in the veteran team of St. Petersburg, so at first there was nobody to cope with the insistent and ingenious Kiryakov. As a result, Kiryakov made a "double" already by half-time creating a comfort 3:0 lead for his team!

And then the time-tested "Sergey Dmitriyev – Dmitri Barannik" duo took the game in their hands. They were the youngest players in the legendary Zenit-84 team. In fact, they remained the youngest in this lineup, in spite of being more than 50... The two of them created a nice goal just like in the old days – Dmitriyev made a successful cross and Barannik finished it beautifully.

The score was 1:3 then, and the first goal inspired extra forces in the team of St. Petersburg. Sergey Gerasimets made a double in just several minutes, responding to the double of Kiryakov, and made it 3:3! Just a few moments after, the ever-young midfielder and another USSR Champion of 1984 Arkadi Afanasyev scored the most beautiful goal of the match making it 4:3! But still close the end the restless Kiryakov made a hat trick and, accompanied by the applauses of the stands, substituted himself to... the 7-year-old Aleksandr Kiryakov. But the young attacker had already too little time for a possible winning goal. Eventually the match of the Soviet and the Russian football stars ended in a 4:4 draw.


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