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Krasnodar FC’s ex-coach: Victory over Portuguese FC Porto to ‘boost club’s confidence’

The team gained victory in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League
FC Porto's Agustín Marchesín and FC Krasnodar's Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov EPA-EFE/JOSE COELHO
FC Porto's Agustín Marchesín and FC Krasnodar's Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The victory of Russia’s Krasnodar FC over famed Portuguese football club Porto will boost the team’s confidence ahead of its next UEFA Champions League encounter against Greek club Olympiakos, Andrei Tikhonov, the former head coach of the Russian football club, told TASS on Wednesday.

Playing away on Tuesday, Krasnodar FC defeated Porto 3-2 in the second-leg match of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The Russian club lost at home 0-1 last week and the aggregate's result after both games was 3-3.

However, Krasnodar proceeded further to the Champions League play-off round as it scored more goals away. FC Porto has been relegated to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.

Match TV, a Russian sports channel, was set to broadcast the match live, which kicked off on Tuesday at 22:00 Moscow time, but several minutes shy of the game’s start the channel announced that the game’s broadcast had been obstructed due to circumstances beyond their control. The match was eventually broadcast via an official mobile application of the Portuguese football club.

"I kept believing in the team and was hoping for the victory," Tikhonov said in an interview with TASS. "This was an outstanding achievement of Krasnodar FC and a good birthday present for [club’s] President Sergei Galitsky [who turned 52 on August 14]."

"I only regret that I did not have a chance of watching the whole match," he continued. "After I figured out how to tune in [for the live broadcast], it was already some 20 minutes into the match with 2-0 [in favor of Krasnodar] flashing on the scoreboard."

Match TV Creative Producer Gavriil Gordeyev told TASS earlier in the day that FC Porto should be punished for not allowing a live broadcast of the UEFA Champions League’s qualifier to Russia on Tuesday night.

"When the result is the most important thing, people close their eyes on the play and particular moments," Tikhonov said. "I think that Krasnodar FC was decent in the first half playing very good, controlling the ball and staging immediate counter-attacks."

"The score would have been 4-0 if [Krasnodar’s Swedish forward] Marcus Berg had used his hundred percent chance to score," the club’s ex-coach said. "He had to score that ball, but we were eventually left with a nail-biting end of the match."

Krasnodar FC never played official and friendly matches against football clubs from Portugal before its encounter with FC Porto on August 7 and 13. Portugal’s famous Porto FC is the last season’s runner-up in the Primeira Liga, which is the top football tournament in the country.

After defeating FC Porto the Russian football club was paired against Greek club Olympiakos. The first-leg match will be played in Greece on August 21 and the return match will be held on August 27 at the over 35,000-seat capacity stadium in Krasnodar.

Tikhonov said that two of the upcoming matches against Olympiakos FC would be certainly not easy for the Russian club although the Greek club does not have as many football stars on its roster as FC Porto does.

"Everyone can play football now, especially in Greece, where local fans are giving their utmost support for their team," Tikhonov continued. "It will not be easy, but I believe that Krasnodar FC will manage to get through."

"The victory over Porto will certainly boost the confidence. The most important now is to avoid injuries in the upcoming match against [Russia’s] Tambov FC," he added.

Krasnodar FC is scheduled to play against Tambov FC on August 17 at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk as part of the sixth round of the Russian Premier League (RPL) tournament.

The football club from the Russian southern city of Krasnodar was founded in 2008 and never played in the Champions League series. Last season, Krasnodar FC finished 3rd in the Russian Premier League (RPL).

The press office of Krasnodar FC announced earlier in the day that ticket prices for the 2nd leg match of the UEFA Champions League play-off round between Greek football club Olympiakos and Russian FC Krasnodar on August 27 will range between 500 and 5,000 rubles (between $7.6 and $76).