Soccer News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Mohammed Rabiu will have to wait to make his return to action for Kuban Krasnodar as he was overlooked by coach Leonid Kuchuk for the team’s first game back after the winter break.
The Ghana international watched on from the bench as the Cossacks beat Mordovia Saransk 1-0 in the Russian Cup on Monday evening, their first match since being defeated by CSKA Moscow in the Premier League on December 6.
The home side took the lead inside the first half as Toni Sunjic found the net after heading home a perfectly angled freekick delivered by on-loan Sergei Tkachyov.
Rabiu returned to Kuban on February 15 after his exploits for Ghana in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but against Saransk the coach preferred a midfield pairing of Charles Kabore and Vladislav Kulik.
The 25-year-old started the Black Stars’ opener against Senegal in Mongomo back in February, but was dropped by coach Avram Grant after the 2-1 defeat. He came on as a substitute for the dying four minutes against Guinea in the second round but played no further part in the tournament, watching on as Ivory Coast beat Ghana on penalties in the final in Bata.
Success for Kuban against Saransk ought to be the perfect tonic for any post-Afcon blues Rabiu may he suffering.
His side are joined in the semi-finals by CSKA Moscow who beat Krylia Sovetov Samara 1-0 earlier on Monday evening. The two sides will meet on April 29 with the home side set to be determined by a draw.
Premier League action resumes for Rabiu and Kuban on March 9 when they welcome their cup opponents Saransk back to Krasnodar.