Posts Tagged ‘Sapsan Arena’

Lokomotiv Moscow v Chertanovo, Sunday 11th October 2020, 2pm

November 29, 2020

As I clock up visits to the various Moscow stadiums, my options for new grounds get fewer each week. In an effort to find a game for this trip I had a look to see what was going on in the Women’s Supreme Division. It must be difficult to try and come up with new titles for leagues and I think that’s the first use of ’Supreme’ that I’ve seen outside of Crufts.

My luck was in and there was a game taking place at the Sapsan Arena which appeared to be right next door to the main Lokomotiv stadium that I’d recently visited.

As I already knew how to get there I thought I’d also pay a repeat visit to the nearby Sokolniki Park before the match. This time I took the paths to the right of the main entrance gate and tried to skirt the edge of the park as much as possible. It wasn’t as busy as the other side which has the funfair, but it was a lot earlier in the day.

One of the reasons for staying to that side of the park was that I was keen to find the Spartak training complex with a future visit in mind. I crossed over a fairly busy road and continued for around twenty minutes, unsure if I was still in the park or not. I found the complex which had at least two pitches with stands and look forward to returning at some point for what will most likely be an under-nineteen game.

After a further wander around the park I took the subway up to the Lokomotiv stop and followed the smattering of fans who were heading past the main stadium, hopefully to the game. I passed a guard and then walked through a park with a couple of other adjacent pitches before arriving at the Sapsan Arena.

It was free to get in and I had the usually temperature and bag check, before being asked whether I was a Lokomotiv or a Chertanovo fan. I told them that I was neither, which temporarily flummoxed them, before being directed to sit in the central section of the only stand open.

Had I told them I was there to support Chertanovo I’d have been directed to the section to my right, with the dozen or so away fans. I’d no way of knowing if they were fans specifically of the Women’s team or whether they just got along to any Chertanovo game that they could but they had a few chants that seemed player specific.

The ten thousand capacity stadium had three stands, being spoilt only by there being nothing more than a five a side court behind the goal to my left. The pitch looked a bit odd. I’m sure that it was artificial but it seemed to be cutting up in areas, perhaps with too much of that black rubber that always ends up in your boots. Lokomotiv were in white with Chertanovo in blue.

Marina Fedorova stood out in central midfield for Lokomotiv. Her touch appeared way ahead of a couple of the Chertanovo defenders who looked as if they were using their wrong foot regardless of which one they used.

Half an hour in there was a pitch invader wearing a home shirt who almost scored. None of the players seemed to notice him and he nearly beat the keeper to a loose ball in the six yard box. After his goalmouth exertions he made his way towards the dugouts and was escorted away by someone who I presume was the stadium manager. They disappeared behind the stand and five minutes later three cops briskly made their way over, batons swinging from their belts.

Lokomotiv took the lead just before half time when Nelli Korovkina turned her marker inside the box and gave the keeper no chance. A second followed soon after when she ran on to a through ball and again placed it beyond the reach of the away keeper.

Five minutes after the break Korovkina got her hat trick with a tap in after a clever pass into the box that split the defence. It had been the best bit of skill of the afternoon and drew smiles and applause from all bar the dozen away fans. As a neutral it just what I hope to see in a game I attend and with another forty minutes for Chertanovo to try and keep the score down, a rout looked on the cards

Maybe Lokomotiv eased off after their third, because we had a spell where Chertanovo held their own and then, despite heading for their tenth defeat in ten games, the visitors pulled one back in the eightieth minute with a drive from the edge of the box.

With five minutes left Korovkina almost got her fourth against her former team but couldn’t quite get on the end of a cross from the right and it was her teammate Kristina Cherkasova who instead finished it to restore the three-goal advantage.

There was still one more to come a couple of minutes later and with Korovkina going nowhere, she was brought down for a pen. Former Betis and Metz midfielder Fedorova capped a commanding performance with a two step pen into the bottom left hand corner for a five-one victory.