The game could be decisive for both teams: in order to advance to the next round, the Ural players had to put the demoralized opponent away. However, the Nickel players, driven by revanchist sentiments for the two previous quarterfinal defeats, showed their character.
In the seventh minute, the Brazilian member of the Norilsk team Julio Zanotto made a well-aimed blow on the goal from the right flank – 1:0. Six minutes later, due to the efforts of Nikita Fahrutdinov, the Uralians recouped. Nevertheless, the owners of the parquet, the northerners, left for the break, taking the lead, as Pavel Suchilin had decided on a long-range shot in the 17th minute – 2:1.
In the second half, the teams demonstrated, perhaps, one of the most spectacular segments of the entire series. Almost immediately after the starting whistle, Sergei Abramov burst into the Norilsk goalkeeper’ area and hit the far upper corner of the goal. At the 32nd minute, he brought Sinara forward, successfully acting in the penalty area. At the 39th minute, Ruslan Kudziev saved Norilsk Nickel from defeat.
The main time of the match ends in a draw 3:3, and the game progressed into two extra periods of five minutes each. In fact, the full potential of the polar squad was revealed. Despite the psychological pressure, Evgeny Kuksevich’s charges were able to demonstrate their steadfast character and team cohesion. On the 52nd minute Suchilin successfully closed the pass. Two minutes later, his teammate Rishat Kotlyarov followed his example, hitting the target from the ten-meter mark. And a minute later, Kudziev scored the sixth goal against the Yekaterinburg team, almost ensuring his team’s fourth match in the series. Almost. Having replaced the goalkeeper with the fifth field goalie, Sinara, threw all their forces forward, almost did a feat when first Maxim Okulov at the 58th, and then Valery Demin at the 60th, last minute of the meeting, reduced the gap to the minimum. And yet the siren that announced the end of the game recorded the long-awaited and most important victory of the northerners on the scoreboard – 6:5.
Let us remind you that the first two meetings between the rivals in Yekaterinburg ended in favor of Sinara – 4:3 and 2:1. At the same time, due to the epidemic situation in the northern city, the Norilsk residents are forced to play home matches in Mytishchi, near Moscow. The fourth game of the series will take place today, August 6, in the same place, in Mytishchi. Beginning at 17.00 Norilsk time. The live broadcast of the match will be available on the official YouTube channel of the Russian Mini-Football Association.
It remains to add that if Norilsk Nickel wins in the upcoming game, the series score will be 2:2. And since the winner of the pair is determined up to three wins, the final, fifth meeting will take place on August 9 in Yekaterinburg.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: mfknn.ru