The rivals played in Yekaterinburg, on the parquet of the VIZ-Sinara sports complex. Due to the epidemiological situation, the game was played without spectators. The teams began the meeting with double-edged attacks. Despite the fact that at first the guests looked more confident, the hosts were first to open the score through the efforts of Sergei Sorokin at the 10th minute. At the 18th minute, Yegor Ivanov doubled Sinara’s lead. Three minutes before the break, Pavel Suchilin from Norilsk reduced the gap between the teams.
In the second half, the game became even more dynamic. The northerners over and over again missed the opportunity to take the chance: at the 31st minute Ivanov upset the guests again by scoring a double. At the 44th minute, the outcome of the meeting could have been finally decided, but Valery Demin, failing to realize the ten-meter shot, gave the Norilsk players hope. As a result, Ruslan Kudziev at the 48th minute, and then Darlan at the 49th minute equalized the score. Nevertheless, the last word in the match remained with the Ural players.
During the extra time, the teams tried not to take risks – the cost of a mistake, especially in defense, could be expensive. The northerners were first to lose their nerves: two minutes before the end of the extra time, Kudziev broke the rules. The judge pointed to the ten-meter. Anton Sokolov took the ball – 4:3 in favor of Sinara.
The meeting in Yekaterinburg on the August 2 ended with a score of 2:1 in favor of Sinara as well.
Like in the first meeting, the Norilsk people started the game quite well, but they lacked fortune in the final stages of attack.
The score in the game was opened only at the end of the first half, when Dmitry Prudnikov scored for the hosts of the site at the 22nd minute. Two minutes later, Anton Sokolov could have increased the advantage of his team, but his shot from the ten-meter mark was repelled by the goalkeeper of the northerners Ivan Poddubny. The Norilsk guests took advantage of the opponent’s misfire and in the response attack they themselves earned the right to a penalty: Rishat Kotlyarov was accurate. It seemed that the teams would go for a break if the goals were equal, but at the very end of the starting 25-minute period Anton Sokolov brought Sinara forward.
In the second half, the game resembled an action-packed thriller. Each team had several opportunities to do their best, but the ball never crossed the goal line. And even the replacement of the goalkeeper by the fifth field player did not save Norilsk Nickel from the second defeat in a row.
Having lost in two playoff matches, the Norilsk team still has one more attempt to turn the series around. The third game will take place on August 5 in Mytishchi near Moscow, where the games will take place due to the epidemic situation in Norilsk. If Yevgeny Kuksevich’s charges are weaker than their opponents there, the Super League season for Norilsk Nickel will be over.
As a reminder, the championship play-off series lasts up to three victories of one of the teams, so the Norilsk team still has chances to reach the semifinals: if necessary, the fourth and fifth matches of the series will take place on August 6 and 9 in Mytishchi and Yekaterinburg, respectively.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: FC Sinara