MOSCOW, August 24 (R-Sport) – Anzhi Makhachkala’s miserable start to the 2013-14 Russian Premier League season continued Saturday with a 2-1 home defeat to FC Krasnodar.
The result leaves the Dagestani side, who still boast Samuel Eto’o and Lacina Traore despite a clear-out of seven first-team players this season, winless in six games and languishing second from bottom with just two points.
Krasnodar, on the other hand, gain a second victory of the season and displace FC Volga from seventh place with eight points.
"Our first half wasn't too great because Anzhi were really aggressive, we only stayed in the game thanks to our goalkeeper," said Krasnodar coach Oleg Kononov in televised comments.
"But in the second half we seized the initiative, got the early goal and controlled it from there.
Anzhi coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev conceded his opponents had the better of the game, possession-wise.
"Krasnodar moved the ball around better than us, they had the ball longer but we had the better chances," he said in televised comments.
Asked whether anything had changed since he vowed last week that the team would gel, Gadzhiev said: "Nothing significan't, no"
Anzhi went ahead in first-half injury time through Odil Ahmedov, who won the ball back after attack was repelled, took a touch to steady himself and unleashed a screaming low shot that arrowed into the far corner.
The leveler came just after half time as Mauricio Pereyra, Krasnodar’s Uruguayan midfielder, slammed a rebound into the net from edge of the penalty area.
The winner was nearly as spectacular as Brazilian forward Wanderson took a deft backheel from Pavel Mamaev, held off two defenders and smashed the ball under Vladimir Gabulov in the Anzhi goal with 16 minutes to go.
The hosts should have been ahead after just three minutes but Lacina Traore sliced wide from three yards in front of an empty goal.
Ahmedov then struck straight at Alexander Filtsov when clean through on goal after just 15 minutes.
It was Alexei Ionov’s turn to miss a sitter just four minutes later, chipping delightfully over the onrushing Filtsov only to see a defender clear it off the line.
Krasnodar came out refreshed after half time and immediately laid siege to the Anzhi goal. They came close twice before Pereyra coolly slotted into an empty goal when a shot from Wanderson ricocheted off the post.
Joaozinho hit a rasping free kick that whistled just over the crossbar on 70 minutes.
The 24-year-old Brazilian then danced through the Anzhi defense and kissed the top side of the crossbar with a swerving shot that had the goalkeeper beaten the moment it left his boot.
Traore missed a late chance to equalize for Anzhi, heading Eto’o’s cross wide from six yards out.
In Saturday’s other matches, Zenit St. Petersburg scored a late 1-1 draw away to Dynamo Moscow; CSKA Moscow went top with a 2-1 comeback victory over rock-bottom FC Tomsk and FC Volga beat Terek Grozny 1-0 thanks to a fantastic solo goal from Anton Putsila.