A Vasili Drozdov goal, conveting a last-gasp try from centre Dmitri Leskov, sealed an astonishing comeback from Moscow’s CSKA, as they defeated Partizan from Belgrade 38-36 in the inauguaral Army Unity Cup at the MBA Stadium.
The hosts were 16 points down with barely five minutes remaing in minus three degrees temperature but thrilled their fans in an astonishing finish.
Tries from Mihajlo Ilić and Dario Abidinović and two Džavid Jašari goals gave the visitors and early 12-0 advantage, CSKA replying through Leskov’s first touchdown. Partizan led 18-16 at the break, Ilić with a second score, and two Vladimir Milutinović tries in the second half seemed to have given them the win.
But three tries in the closing minutes, two from Leskov and another via Tariel Dzavadzasvili saw CSKA home.
Partizan coach Admir Hadzic, whose side travelled 2,000km for the game, said: “I can’t say the score didn’t matter, but more important is that we made the trip and that a tradition was officially started. We are looking forward to hosting our Russian friends next year in Belgrade.”
Kiril Boz, Igor Avramov, Kiril Borisov, Dmitri Leskov, Sergei Muncan, Jon Kriste, Aleksandr Lysokon, Ustin Petruška, Vladimir Panschacev, Tariel Dzavadzasvili, Vasili Drozdov, Nikolai Zagoskin, Aleksandr Naumov
Subs: Denis Tulenev, Aleksei Smakov, Aleksandr Aleksandrov, Vladimir Soldatov.
Tries: Leskov (26, 78, 80), Lysokon (37), Drozdov (40, 75), Dzavahavsvili (76)
Goals: Lysokon 1/1, Aleksandrov 1/2, Drozdov 4/4
Dragan Jovanović, Pavle Vojinović Vladimir Milutinović, Nikola Srbljanin, Kosta Stojiković, Branko Čarapić, Džavid Jašari, Dušan Milutinović, Mihailo Ilić, Dario Abidinović, Leo Dodić, Denis Bibić, Vlado Kušić
Subs: Mihailo Stoiljković, Aleksa Milković, Ronaldo Bitići, Denis Bajrami.
Tries: Milutinović (44, 62), Mihajlo Ilić (11, 33), Dario Abidinović (19)
Goals: Džavid Jašari 6/6
Half time: 16-18
Referee: Aleksandr Zukov (Russia)
Touch judges: Sergej Dobronian (Russia) Vladan Kikanović (Serbia)