Friday, May 02, 2008

A Hero In St. Petersburg

The time was 12.25am and though I had to wake up early for work but I wasn’t keen to doze off just yet as on TV it was the UEFA Cup semi-final action between FC Zenit St. Petersburg and Bayern Munich. There is no way I could afford to miss such a game.

As would you all have expected, my main focus is definitely on Bayern’s Martin DEMICHELIS and Jose Ernesto SOSA (provided if he comes in). Not to mention, Bayern’s reputation is much bigger for a competition like the UEFA Cup.

But you should never count Zenit out? They were the underdogs but there has to be something special about them since they have defeated the likes of Villareal, Marseille and Bayer Leverkusen to come this far.

Upon viewing the starting line up, I had one good reason to pay attention to them. A certain Albiceleste by the name of Alejandro DOMINGUEZ was playing for them.

In what turns to be historical day for the Russian side, DOMINGUEZ stole the show from his more illustrious countrymen on the opposite side. He was instrumental in setting up two goals in FC Zenit 4-0 win.

The first was a well-timed pass for Konstantin ZYRIANOV, which put Zenit 2-0 up.

The second one was even more fantastic. He breezed past Philip LAHM from the right before rolling a masterpiece grounder for Pavel POGREBNYAK, who fired the fourth goal of the game. There was huge ovation for him from the home fans when he was substitute in the 89th minute.

Both DEMICHELIS and SOSA (who came in the second half for the injured Miroslav KLOSE) played well. Especially Martin who was ever presents posing threats from set pieces situations. SOSA had a shot on goal. But it just wasn’t to be their day.

The other semi-final match was between the heavily favourite, Fiorentina against Glasgow Rangers. In what turns out to be another surprise, it wasn’t to be for Mario SANTANA & Co. as Rangers defeated them on penalties.

With that conclusion, we can now say that we will have a representative in both UEFA club competition finals. Just hope the outcome will better than it was last season.

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