“Neftekhimik ” – “AK Bars “: debut of a young coach
“Neftekhimik” (Nizhnekamsk) – “AK Bars” (Kazan) – 2: 3 (0: 0, 1: 2, 1: 1).
Nizhnekamsk, February 14.
“Neftekhimik”: Vehanen. Balmin-Bilalov, Ugarov-Khlystov-Kutyavin. Sokolov-Starosta, Kuzmin-Smirnov-Konkov. Vasilchenko-Nurislamov, Abdullin-Shepelenko-Ivanov. Valentko-Shemelin, Kulikov-Kasyanov-Zakiev.
“AK Bars”: Noronen. Proshkin-Zhiroud, Zaripov-Zinoviev-Morozov. Shchadilov-Pervyshin, Vorobyov-Tereshchenko-Stepanov. Novak-Zubarev, Obukhov-Kazionov-Musatov. Tyulyapkin-Ryasensky, Lisin-Yunkov-Zhukov.
The fellow countrymen approached the face-to-face meeting in a different state, but in an equally unimportant mood. Nizhnekamsk residents are moving further and further away from the coveted top eight, which resulted in the castling on the Neftekhimik coaching bridge – instead of the Syrtsov-Elfimov tandem, the Kadeikin-Sokolov duet came to the helm. Kazan, after a triumphant victory in the European Cup, ended up in the expected functional pit, which led to a number of unfortunate defeats and unforeseen point losses. Also, defender Ilya Nikulin, who, together with goalkeeper Alexander Eremenko, participated in the recent fourth stage of the Eurotour in Sweden, where the Russian team took second place, and Nikulin himself scored a goal against the Finns, remained in Kazan due to back problems. “Neftekhimik” in the Russian national team was represented by forward Sergey Konkov. Both teams in the intermission of the championship lost in control matches – Nizhnekamsk in Togliatti “Lada” 4: 5, Kazan in Moscow “Metallurg” (Mg) – 1: 3. But the most difficult of all that day was, of course, the new coach of Nizhnekamsk, Ayrat Kadeikin, whose debut fell on the game with his native “Ak Bars”, the sole leader of the championship.
For the second time this season, two Finnish legionnaires in the Russian Super League met face to face in Nizhnekamsk, two goalkeepers playing under the same number – 35th, Petri Vehanen from Neftekhimik and Mika Noronen from Ak Bars. It is noteworthy that both successfully defended the gates of the Finnish national team in the last two stages of the Eurotour – Vehanen played for his native Suomi in Moscow in December at the Channel One Cup, and Noronen last week in Sweden at the Swedish Games. As for the game itself, from the very first minutes of the meeting it became clear that the Kazan citizens were still far from their optimal form. It is not surprising that the Nizhnekamsk team immediately confidently seized the initiative. So most of the first period passed with a noticeable playing advantage, suffice it to say that during these 20 minutes the hosts scored 16 shots on target of “Ak Bars” against 7 in their own. Nizhnekamsk played four times more. Several times, only Noronen’s skill saved the guests from a sure goal, when Kutyavin, Kuzmin and Starosta were thrown from ideal positions. Kazan prudently decided to play on defense, harassing the hosts with sharp counterattacks. Vorobyov had a good chance in the 16th minute, but Vehanen reflected his most dangerous shot at close range.
The Kazan team spent the second period much more aggressively, although the hosts still attacked more. Nevertheless, the leopards were the first to achieve success, in the majority. After Proshkin’s long-range throw, the puck darted about on the patch until Giroud sent it into the net, 0: 1. Nizhnekamsk played back in 6 minutes, again in the majority. Now the defender, the captain of “Neftekhimik” Balmin, who had been captain in his native “Ak Bars” for many years, 1: 1, was the first to the puck that bounced out of the crowd of his own and other players. But the equality on the scoreboard lasted some two minutes, until the Kazan team scored in equal compositions. And again the first link of “Ak Bars” achieved success – the captain of the guests Morozov scored his 31 goals in the championship. It was Zaripov who managed to make his partner such a convenient and timely pass that Morozov could calmly send the puck into the empty net from one and a half meters, 1: 2. And the third goal was thrown into the Neftekhimik’s goal by the irreplaceable first five of Kazan, having realized the numerical advantage for the second time – after his own shot from a patch, Zinoviev managed to push the puck into the net, 1: 3. To the credit of Nizhnekamsk, they fought until the last seconds, furiously attacking the gates of Noronen. In the middle of the third period, the hosts managed to win back one goal after the players of the same top five of “Ak Bars” lost the puck in a foreign zone. Smirnov and Konkov coolly played a two-one exit in a quick counterattack, 2: 3. 31 seconds before the final siren, the hosts replaced the goalkeeper with the sixth field player, and for the last 22 seconds the six “Neftekhimik” played against the four “leopards” – Kazionov was removed from the guests. But Kazan fought back and replenished their luggage with another 3 points, bringing their asset to 100 points. But let’s pay tribute to Nizhnekamsk – the hosts played a very worthy match against the leader, we wish the young coach of “Neftekhimik” Airat Kadeikin success in the next games – on February 17, Nizhnekamsk will play in Moscow with “Wings of the Soviets”, and Kazan will host CSKA that day.
Zinetulla BILYALETDINOV, head coach of “Ak Bars”: “Recently we have not played very expressively, so today I am satisfied with the result. The guys completed the task. We will work further to improve the game. ”
Ayrat Kadeikin, Acting head coach of “Neftekhimik”: “Many thanks to the guys for the game they showed today. We definitely deserve a point … Thanks to Zinetulla Khaidarovich for the baptism of fire. “