Monday, October 26, 2009

Lokomotiv held by Saturn and looses ground

With 5 rounds remaining, Lokomotiv welcomed Saturn Moscow Oblast at Lokomotiv. With Lokomotiv looking to bounce back from the heavy 3-0 nil defeat to Spartak, for sure the match against Saturn came at the least preferable time. Apart of being a difficult nut to crack down, Lokomotiv had three important players out of the contest. Odemwingie was suspended while Rodolfo was out injured. On the other hand Wagner is still not 100%. As I had predicted, Lokomotiv couldn't beat Saturn and in the end had to settle for a 2-all draw. For sure Lokomotiv ended the match bemoaning the errors at the back which practically gave away the two goal to Saturn. At least, the others results helped our situation. CSKA loss means we are one point a drift of them and a place in Europa League. Furthermore CSKA-beaters FC Moscow are two points ahead of us while Zenit have 5 at 47 points.
As I have already denoted, Semin was forced to make 2 changes from last outing. Basha took the place of Captain Rodolfo while Gatagov replaced Odemwingie. Once again Kuzmin was favoured over Kocsis on the right flank. The match started in a sluggish fashion as both teams were looking to keep things tight at the back in the opening minutes. However within 15 minutes Saturn opened the score. What seemed to be a simple shoulder to shoulder between Asatiani and Topic was deemed illegal by referee Pettay and awarded a golden-wrapped gift to Saturn. Lokomotiv looked on with disbelief; no wonder!! Karyaka steadied himself and made no mistake from 11 metres. However there was no joy for the moment for the Aliens as Pettay ordered Karyaka to take again the penalty. For the second time, Karyaka sent Guilherme the other side and opened the score. 1-0 was at 15 mins and so was the score at half time.
In the second half Lokomtiv came out more aggresively and within 2 minutes the score was even. Torbinsky's corner found Dujmovic completly unmarked and from closed range he headed the ball into the net. The goal seemed to had awaken Loko as they surged forward looking for the second. However, in a rare counter attack, Kuzmin controlled badly the ball and the ball found itself into the path of Kuzmichev who from outside the box rifled the ball into the top left corner. Goal of the match. Given that the men in red-green were aware that losing to Saturn would be catasthrophic, the goal seemed to had motivated Loko as they started to push Saturn into their own half. On the 78th minute Loko were given a helping hand as Zelao was rightly sent off for the second yellow card for a dreadful challenge on Minchenkov. 10 minutes on and Lokomotiv levelled the match yet again. In a way the ball found it way into the path of Sychev who without thinking twice shot the ball past the hapless Kinsky; the ball hitting the upleft on it's way in. 2-2 was the final score.

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 6 - nothing to do apart of picking the ball out of his net twice.

Kuzmin - 5 - his error led to the second goal
Asatiani - 5.5 - was adjudged to had fouled Topic. Poor decision from the ref; however the penalty did made life difficult for Lokomotiv
Basha - 6 - replaced Rodolfo well. However on one occasion his poor decision making scared Lokomotiv
Yanbaev - 6.5 - Usual up-down non-stop running
Dujmovic - 7 - took his goal very well
Charles - 5.5 - at fault for the first goal as he lost the ball and eventually Saturn were awarded the penalty. Misplaced some passes
Gatagov - 6 - somewhat assisted Sychev for the goal.
Glushakov - 6.5 - a high rating for his hard working performance
Torbinsky - 7 - the only player of the current crop who is capable of creating something out of nothing. Assisted Dujmovic for the corner.

Sychev - 7 - snatched the leveller at the death end. Industrious performance from the birthday boy

Minchenkov - 6.5 - played his part in Zelao's red card,
Fall - 5 - Should had scored but his close range effort went wide

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Lokomotiv's title ambition is virtually over & out. 3-0 was the final score as Spartak triumphed at Luzhniki. To be sincere it was always going to be difficult to win any points at Spartak, however I concede that I was expecting a close match with Spartak scraping a victory. 3-0 was somewhat a heavy defeat, and for sure it didn't reflected the way the match took course. While the first half was all Spartak, the second was all Lokomotiv albeit to the two counter attacks with which Spartak eventually cruised to victory. Moreover, sadly it's difficult to single out any positives from this encounter. Kuzmin's lack of pace was put on show several times. Charles won many balls, however lost nearly as many. Dujmovic failed to mark his authority while Odemwingie albeit of a one shot was all action and no end product. Totally disappointing. For sure Lokomotiv were missing Wagner and it is yet unclear what is hapenning to Gatagov. After a sparkling start in the middle of the campaing, Gatagov's form had been very indifferent. Today was no difference as he failed to give the sparkle Lokomotiv needed.

As I have already said there was no place for Wagner failed to make it and Semin lined-up the same line-up of 2 weeks ago. From the begininning Lokomotiv were on the back foot. The continous fouls comitted by the side in white didn't helped Loko cause as it heaped even more pressure on the guests. Actually I was amazed that no red cards were shown as tackles flew in high from the very beginning. The first threatining of the match came from Lokomotiv as Torbinsky's low cross was poorly dealt by Spartak defence. Dzhanaev saved the day for Spartak. On the 22nd minute Odemwingie was booked for a hard tackle on Ananidze. This means that the Nigerian will be suspended for next match. Some moments later, Guilherme responded with difficulty to Stranzl close range header. Soon after Bazhenov hit the crossbar. However 5 minutes from time, Guilherme couldn't do nothing as the shortest player on field, Ananidze headed in from close range. 1 nil for the People's team at the break.

In the second half Lokomotiv came even more aggressiver than the first 45 minutes and started to take the game into Spartak's half. Yanbaev combined well with Sychev, however the former couldn't conclude when one in one with the keeper. Semin brought in Gatagov in place of Torbinsky; neverthless on the hour mark Spartak doubled their advantage through Welliton who after escaping the offside trap, rounded the keeper and slotted into open net. 17 goals for the Brazilian and itching closer to claim the Russian Golden Boat. Lokomotiv tried to reply as Sychev's crashing shot skimmed the crossbar. Semin went gung-ho as he introduced Fall & Minchenkov in place of Glushakov and Rodolfo respectively. Neverthless nothing materialised for the Railwaymen and eventually Quincy closed the door in face of Lokomotiv fans by scoring the definite 3-0. Spartak fans went into raptures. The 3-0 score meant that Lokomotiv title dreams were over. Anyways goodluck Spartak, I hope that if Rubin won't win the league, you'll do it then. For sure your long-suffering deserve that. At least the championship will return back to Moscow.
Player Ratings
Guilherme - 5.5 - did one great stop from Stranzl's header. Couldn't do nothing with the 2nd and 3rd goal, however, he was no where to be found in Spartak's first goal
Kuzmin - 6 - wasn't so bad, however his lack of acceleration & pace was exposed over and over again
Asatiani - 6 - started quite bad but grew as the match went on. Strong with the ball at his feet and on some occasions even assisted the attack
Rodolfo - 6 - wasn't 100% fit and in the end it got the better of him.
Yanbaev - 6.5 - linked up well as ever. A very consistent performer
Dujmovic - 5.5 - failed to mark his authority. Seemed to be quite nervous
Charles - 6.5 - Won countless balls and would have been given a bigger rating should he hadn't misplaced some passes
Odemwingie - 6 - I wonder what's the difference between wearing the green of Nigeria and the red-green of Lokomotiv
Glushakov - 6.5 - a machine in the middle of the park
Torbinsky - 6.5 - in my view he was the only one likeliest to create something. Was substituted by Gatagov in the early of the second half; the reason for, I don't know.
Sychev - 6.5 - tried very hard, however with no end result. Had one great shot after an amazing first touch.
Gatagov - 5.5 - anonymous
Fall - N/A - no time to impress
Minchenkov - N/A - the match was over.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Odemwingie voted as Nigeria's finest

Lokomotiv Moscow forward Peter Osaze Odemwingie had been voted Nigeria's Footballer of the Year in an inaugural African Independent Television (AIT) Football Awards ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Saturday night. In doing so he pipped Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche and Hapoel Tel-Aviv keeper Vincent Enyeama.

Odemwingie, who scored 6 goals in 32 appearances for the Super Eagles had been in scintillating form during their qualifiers to the World Cup. However, unfortunately Peter found it difficult to replicate his international form to club level. Actually apart of recent matches, Odemwingie had been a a bit poor for Lokomotiv. I believe that the real reason behind his poor performances was his outburst last year. Actually under Semin, Odemwingie seemed to be a total different player. Although his performances aren't equal to those he show with the Super Eagles, for sure Odemwingie is improving with every match he plays. Good luck Peter and hope we'll see the best of you next Sunday!!!

From my Blog I congratulate you for winning the award!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Loko and Dynamo share spoils in friendly

Yesterday, Lokomotiv took the field against Belarussian outfit Dynamo Minsk in a friendly match. Despite being stronger on paper, Lokomotiv were only capable of drawing in the clash of mentor vs pupil. This is due to the fact that Lokomotiv-fan favourite and former pupil of Semin, Sergey Gurenko is currently in head of the team.

Belarussian hot prospect Sergey Kislyak opened the score for Dynamo on the half hour mark. However Lokomotiv instantly replied through Glushakov. Deep in the end Lokomotiv had the chance to secure a win, however David Mudjiri saw his effort from the spot saved by Minsk keeper Chanovich. 1-1 was the score at the end.

Lokomotiv: Guilherme (Cech, 46), Kuzmin, Asatiani (Burlak, 69), Rodolfo (Belyaev, 60), Sennikov (Pavlov, 46), Kocsis, Glushakov (Zyryanov, 46), Dujmović, Minchenkov (Poloz, 46), Sychev ( Mujiri, 46), Fall.

Dynamo: Gorbunov (Chanovich, 46), Kondratiev (Sidorenko, 46), Pavlyukovich (Zaleski, 46), Martynkovich (Sharabi, 56), Montarup (Gavrilovich, 56), Shkabara (Buloichik, 74), Kislyak (Gigevich, 46), Strakhanovich (Jasinski, 46), Putilo (Jefferson 74), Chuhley (Zagvozdin, 74), Gavryushko (kovich, 46).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lokomotiv Stadium


"Russia's finest stadium", are the words used by author Marc Bennetts to introduce Lokomotiv's home to his readers in his book "Football Dynamo, Modern Russia and the People's Game". The author continues by writing that Lokomotiv Stadium, "unlike many Russian grounds, has no running track, and the fans are pressed right up to the side of the pitch, making it one of the few stadiums in the country that has real atmosphere." Actually the author is right. Apart from Lokomotiv Stadium, only Saturn Stadium and recently built Arena Khimki, home to FC Saturn Moscow Oblast and FC Khimki respectavily doesn't have tracks around the pitch. The picture shows the atmosphere during the derby between Lokomotiv and Spartak. Other matches which use to generate excellent atmosphere are those versus CSKA and Zenit.

The Lokomotiv Stadium, situated at Cherizkovo makes part of the Lokomotiv Sport Complex which spans an area of 25 hectares. The stadium, which holds 28,800 people, all seated, was reconstructed in 2002 and it costed the Russian Railway Ministry, Lokomotiv's sponsors, 30million dollars. Currently Lokomotiv Moscow are the sole tennants of the stadium, however, often the Russian National Team play it's home games at Cherizkovo. Obviously the stadium meet both UEFA and FIFA requirements. The pitch, which is 104mx68m, is surrounded by two-tiered four all-seater stands, the North Stand, the South Stand, the "Vostok" Stand and the West Stand. The South Stand is home to the Lokomotiv Moscow ultras. On the other hand travelling fans generally reside in the North Stand. Actually in the North Stand one can find the guest sector which holds 2345 people. Each stand has different colour seats, which helps indicate your stand if you don’t understand the Russian script on your ticket.
All the stands are covered by a roof, by thus protecting the fans from the Russian harsh weather elements. The total areas of the glass roof is 20,000 square metres. An unique characteristic of the stadium are the VIP-Boxes found in between the upper and lower tiers of all the stands, with one of them being even a restaurant. Furthermore the stadium comprises of other three VIP-sectors, one of them being of soft-seats. Altogether they total to 974 VIP-seats. Furthermore there are 156 seats available for the press. Thus in all the stadium holds 30,000 people. Moreover beneath the stands one can find a fitness centre, a bowling club and also the offices of both the club and the fan club. Moreover beside the stadium one can find the Minor Sports Arena Lokomotiv which holds 5000 people. It is the home stadium of Lokomotiv-2 Moscow and the youths of Lokomotiv Moscow.

In 1935, at the site where the Lokomotiv Stadium is resided today, an electric workers union decided to built a stadium which was named "Stalinets". At that time Stalinets was the biggest and the best stadium in Russia and it accommodated many of the Moscow teams.

Development of Lokomotiv Stadium
After holding several key matches and became the symbol of football in Moscow, Stalinets was demolished to make way for a more modern stadium. Thus Lokomotiv stadium was built. It was opened on August 17, 1966 and it had a capacity of 30,000 people. However, in mid-90's the capacity of the stadium was reduced by 6,000 to 24,000 due to the fact that the wooden benches were replaced by plastic seats. The inaugural match played at the Lokomotiv stadium was between Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Kiev. As years rolled on, Lokomotiv held several important matches such as Russian National team home matches, Lokomotiv matches and others. However the pinnacle in the history of stadium was Spartak's European Cup qualifier against Swiss club FC Sion which finished 2 all. However after the match the Swiss forced UEFA to measure the posts in order to find out if they comply with international standards. Astonishingly enough size of the posts proved to be infringe international standards. Eventually, UEFA ordered a replay which was won by Spartak Moscow by 5 goals to 1.

Re-Development of Lokomotiv Stadium
Despite that Lokomotiv stadium was still of good quality in terms of infrastructure, the Lokomotiv Moscow board felt that a new stadium would be the best option for everyone. Backed by the Russian Transport Ministry, Lokomotiv built an arena, which although at first was heavily criticised and branded as a "flying saucer" by the Russian fans, today stands out as the best arena in Russia. The reconstructed Lokomotiv Stadium held its first match on July 5, 2002 when Lokomotiv welcomed Uralan. During this match Dmitry Semochko listed his name for all the wrong reasons as the own-goal he comitted was eventually recognised as the first official goal at the new Lokomotiv Stadium.

How to get to the Lokomotiv Stadium
The stadium is located in the North East quadrant of Moscow, just outside the second ring road.

  • The stadium has its own metro stop on the Red line 1 at Cherkzovskaya that is one stop from the north end of the line. From Red Square (Oxhotny Ryad) it is 8 stops and around 20 minutes to the stadium. There is also an overland train station above the Metro station as well – trains here run on the outer Moscow Loop line.
  • There is an alternative route that involved using the purple line 3 to Partizanskaya (5 stops from Ploshchad Revolutsii in Red Square), and then a 15-minute walk northwards from the station, passing Izmaylovo market on your way.
  • The final option is a taxi.

    For a detailed map how to get to the Lokomotiv Stadium click here.
How to get a ticket for the Lokomotiv Stadium
Tickets for a Lokomotiv match go on sale online via the website from ten days before a game, or can be bought from the ticket booths on the main road to the south of the stadium.

Around the Lokomotiv Stadium
The stadium is located in a mixed area, with commercial properties to the east, residential blocks in the south and woodland to the north and west. There are a few bars and cafes to the south of the stadium but these are very much home fans only. Although you can walk from the metro station to arrive at the stadium, on evening games, it is best to use the station entrance and exit to the south of the platforms as this brings you out directly onto the main road where the entrance to the stadium is.

PS - I didn't copied and pasted the article of Lokomotiv Stadium found on wikipedia over here. Actually I was the one to edit the article on wikipedia back in September - Loskomotiv

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lokomotiv on alert as Olexandr Aliev becomes an unhappy man

According to reports emanating from Ukraine, Lokomotiv target Olexandr Aliev is currently unhappy with his situation at Dynamo. The report revealed that the player is worried about his future at the capital club due to the fact that despite had been training for six weeks following his bad injury he has yet to feature for Dynamo.

The continous snubbing by Gazzaev to reasons unknown to him seemed to had left Aliev devastated and actually the Ukranian national is considering leaving the club if the situation doesn't change. The fact that there was no conversation between the Russian maestro and the midfielder ignite the idea of an ill-feeling between the two. However, club president Igor Surkis rebuffed such statement and claimed that the only reasons behind Gazzaev's decision is just a tactical one. He added that moreover Dynamo did well despite Aliev's absence.

With Lokomotiv interested in Aliev since the appointment of Semin, a move to Lokomotiv can be on the cards. Moreover the good relationship between Semin and Aliev should be a helping hand in bringing Aliev to the Russian capital. Personally Lokomotiv should do their best to take an advantage of the situation. It's no secret that we had been craving for a Loskov-like player since the namesake's departure. A player of his calibre will for sure strentgthen Lokomotiv. The fact that he has a Russian passport is a bonus. It would be another dream coming true seeing the man in a red & green shirt with the number 10 printed on it's back. . .

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lokomotiv back on its' rails!!

After the disappoiting defeat to Terek Grozny last weekened, today a win for Lokomotiv was a must in order to keep up with the others for a place in the Champions League. For sure the fixture schedule didn't helped the situation for Lokomotiv as they had to face leaders Rubin Kazan, who were bouyed from a scintillating performance against Italian champions Inter. Given the situation of both clubs, a draw was on the cards. A win would have meant a bonus for the winner. This time round lady luck smiled on Lokomotiv, as with a pleasing performance the men in red-green were able to take the whole three points from the encounter with a 2-1 win. Despite we were a little bit lucky, I can't take any credit off the players. From first to finish Lokomotiv played a very disciplined match were they weren't only able to neutralise Dominguez & co but also to play some pleasing football by passing the ball around like the team did back in 2004/2005; to be sincere it was a little bit nostalgic. Torbinsky was all over the park, Dujmovic was aggressive as ever while the central duo were colossus at the back. Guilherme did the rest. Maybe, finally Loko found the man capable of taking the mantle left by Ovchinnikov over three years ago.
Keeping my favourite formation of 4-2-3-1, Semin ringed the changes from last encounter. Kuzmin replaced Kocsis on the right while there was no place for Alan Gatagov and Sani Kaita in the starting eleven. Denis Glushakov and the returning Charles took their place respectively. Moreover there was not even a place on the bench for Sani Kaita; the reason is unknown to me. Actually I didn't found any news concerning him such as being unavailable or other. Maybe Semin was baffled by his display last week? I don't know. Anyways, the rest of the formation was as usual with Torbinsky yet again confirmed in the starting eleven. As expected there was no place for Wagner. However, good news for all Lokomotiv fans. According to, Wagner will be able to feature in the upcoming cruncher at Spartak.

For sure Yury Semin, who wanted a win for all costs, ordered his team to find out an early goal in order to tranquil them a little bit. Within two minutes Lokomotiv delivered. Rodolfo picked the ball in his own half and tried to pick out Sychev who was completly unmarked on the right. His long ball, although deflected by Ansaldi found its way to Sychev whose first touch low cross was turned into the net by Odemwingie. Lokomotiv stadium erupted. What a start!!! Encouraged by the start, Lokomotiv continued to impress and locked Rubin in their own half in the opening minutes. On the quarter mark, Rubin were forced to replace Kasaev as the latter couldn't recover from Charles' challenge. Youngster Balyaikin took his place; to be sincere the 21 year old lad impressed me alot throughout the match. After the substution the match lost some of its tempo as Rubin were happy to pass around the ball in their half in order to lessen Loko's aggressiveness. However still Lokomotiv came close to double to score twice through Odemwingie and Sychev. Rubin replied through a well taken freekick from Dominguez, to which Guilherme was equal to it. With ten minutes to half time, Lokomotiv doubled the advantage. The goal itself was a total fluke. Cesar Navas played a back pass to Rhyzikov, who unpressed elected to pass the ball back to sender rather kick it up. His decision resulted to be a poor one as his miskick hit Odemwingie on his chest and the ball rebounded into the net. 2-0 for Lokomotiv. Few maybe thought that the game was over for Rubin, however soon Dominguez nearly re-opened the game as his shot skimmed the up-left. 2 up at half time.

Conscious of Spartak's win and the two goal deficit, Rubin came out looking for an early goal. On the hour mark Guilherme's reflexes were put on show. A cross from the right by Dominguez was met perfectly by Ryazantsev who in open goal looked certain to score. Amazingly Guilherme managed to turn and deflect the ball to corner. The best save to date. This was sign of things to come. With 15 minutes left Rubin re-opened the match. Torbinsky fouled Balyaikin just outside the box and the resultant freekick was met by Salukvadze who from close range headed in. These two actions sandwiched Charles substitution who had to be replaced by Kocsis due to injury. I hope that the injury isn't bad. Get well soon Charles, there is a derby to play!! The goal lifted Rubin and thus Lokomotiv locked back and tried to keep hold of their lead. Actually Semin replaced Odemwingie with Kambolov. Despite Rubin enjoying the biggest fair of possesion it was Lokomotiv who came close to score again through Asatiani's header. The score remained the same as Sukhina blew the final whistle, 2-1 for Lokomotiv and 6 points adrift from first place. . . said that Lokomotiv made a favour to Spartak, however who knows with 6 matches to play...with Semin everything is possible!!!
Lokomotiv Moscow 2 - 1 Rubin Kazan
(Odemwingie 2', 35' - Salukvadze 75')
Referee: Stanislav Sukhina
Attendance - 15,210
Player Ratings
Guilherme - 7.5 - A world class save was the cream of his strong performance. Dominated his area and communicated well with the back line. The new Boss!

Kuzmin - 7 - Regained his place and did relatively well. Looked calm and put in some good tackles
Asatiani - 7.5 - Colossus at the back. Let no one and nothing getting past him. Unlucky not to score.
Rodolfo - 7 - Very impressive. Made some good tackles. Developed a perfect understanding with Asatiani.
Yanbaev - 7 - Impressed Hiddink for sure! Never stopped running on the left and linked up very well with Torbinsky.

Dujmovic - 7 - Did what is required to him. Sprayed around some balls and latched into some crunching tackles. A machine in the middle of the park
Charles - 7 - Came back from injury and played very well. Neutralised Dominguez completly until he suffered the injury.
Odemwingie - 7.5 - Was all over the park and took his two goals very well. Encouraging match from the Nigerian. Some touches were of real class. A big-match player.
Glushakov - 7 - Ran and ran and ran. Amazing work rate. Linked up very well with the remaning of the midfield
Torbinsky - 8 - Dominated the midfield. A true warrior. A performance which varied from attacking and defending. Sprayed in some delicious balls and won countless balls on the other end. Personally man of match.

Sychev - 7 - Assisted Odemwingie for the first goal and linked up well with Odemwingie. Dear Guus, don't you think it's time to axe Pavlyuchenko for Sychev? Industrious performance.

Kocsis - 6.5 - Didn't put a foot wrong.
Kambolov - 6.5 - Did what required to him.
Gatagov - N/A - No time to impress.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Loko-Rubin referee bizarrely replaced

In a very bizarre fashion, the referee who was supposed to control the upcoming cruncher between Lokomotiv Moscow and title hopefuls Rubin Kazan, Nikolai Ivanov, was replaced for no reason. According to the responsibility will be then transfered to Stanislav Sukhina. Like every Loko and Rubin fan I wonder what is really behind the board's decision.