On 22/01/2022 we organised a friendly match between FC Zenit (Russia) and Botev Plovdiv (Bulgaria). The match was held in NAS Sports Complex. Botev (Plovdiv) ended in a draw 2: 2 with Zenit (St. Petersburg). The control match was played on one of the pitches of the NAS sports complex in Dubai.
The two teams made a very interesting clash, filled with many goal situations. The Russians had the upper hand in terms of possession of the ball, but Plovdiv performed well and put up a serious resistance to one of the biggest teams in Russia.
The match consisted of two halves of 40 minutes each. In the 5th minute Todor Nedelev made a dangerous free kick in front of the penalty area, and the ball went inches from the crossbar.
Two minutes later, the Botev Plovdiv received a penalty for playing with the hand of a defender of Zenit. Behind the ball stood Todor Nedelev, who with a powerful shot sent the ball into the net for 1:0.
Massive pressure from the "blues" followed and the game was played entirely in the half of Botev. After a series of attacks without a serious threat to Hankic, in the 23rd minute Mostovoy received an excellent pass and remained face to face with Hankic, but the goalkeeper of Plovdiv intervened in the best way and saved.
In the 30th minute, Zenit's attack from the left ended with a cross, a player in blue intercepted and only Genev's excellent performance prevented a goal. In the ensuing corner, Dzyuba was left uncovered and tied close - 1: 1.
The second half started with two great positions for Botev. Seconds after the start of the second half, Emanuel Toku dribbled halfway through the field and went to the left to Brahimi, who deceived a defender and shot from a great position 10 meters from the door, but the Russian guard intervened brilliantly and parried the blow.
After less than 120 seconds, a strong shot by Nikolay Minkov from 25 meters made it difficult for the goalkeeper, who initially missed the ball, but then caught the ball. The Russians responded with a dangerous blow to Yerokin, who was killed by Argilashki.
There was pressure from Botev Plovdiv, who pushed the Russians into their own half. In the 55th minute Botev's multi-pass attack found Brahimi on the left, the fast-footed player ran over a defender and made a cross, but a defender shot in front of Minkov.
A minute later Marquinhos eliminated a defender on the right and centered, the goalkeeper intervened well and parried the attempt to hit Brahimi. Two more passes by Botev followed, after the first Rede Rabey centered very dangerously on the back post, and Genev missed the ball inches from the door.
Seconds later, a sharp cross was killed by a defender and the ball miraculously did not fly into the net. Just when the "yellow-blacks" controlled what was happening on the field, the team of Zenit reached the second goal.
Crossing from the right found an attacker who made a shot and after a ricochet the ball headed for the door. Georgi Argilashki intervened well and scored, but straight to Ozdoyev, who sent the ball into the net from a few meters.
After 64 minutes, a couple of quick and successful challenges followed by a shot from just outside the penalty area by Jürgen Schneider might have resulted in another goal for Kuzayev. In the 69th minute Argilashki intervened decisively - after a short commotion, a Zenit player found himself in a shooting position, but the goalkeeper shortened the corner to the striker and deflected the shot.
In the 71st minute, Botev Plovdiv pressed Zenit and managed to take the ball. Emanuel Toku found himself with the ball in front of the penalty area and shot from a clear position, but over the door. In the 76th minute, South made a striking mistake after shooting over the door from a few meters.
Marquinhos and South missed, before reaching the 78th minute, in which Botev received a second penalty, this time for a violation against Reda Rabey. Marquinhos took care of the performance and although the goalkeeper hit the corner of the Brazilian, the shot was very well aimed and the Botev Plovdiv reached a draw - 2:2. Full match Botev Plovdiv vs FC Zenit:
Highlights Botev Plovdiv vs FC Zenit: