BFC Rovers made history this past weekend, as they became the first British Football Club team in 5 years to participate in an organized Russian League. The ОФЛ League began on Saturday 17th September, with BFC Rovers joining 14 other Russian teams including Strogino and old foes Impulse in a round-robin format competition.
On the first day of action, BFC Rovers played two matches. In their first match, against Krylatskoe-2, Rovers came out of the blocks quickly and stamped their authority on the game despite playing on a very large pitch in an unfamiliar 7v7 format. With Smyslov pulling the strings in center-midfield, Rovers dominated the match as their opponents struggled to deal with the fast feet and quick thinking of striking duo Tillegard and Khanan. On a cold and windy Autumn afternoon, credit must go to goalkeeper Popov who, despite having a mostly uneventful game, was called upon once to make an excellent 1v1 save and keep his scoresheet clean. The goals flowed for Khanan, as Rovers pulled away and secured a well-deserved 7-0 victory!
In match 2, against ФК Молодежка, Rovers didn’t have things quite so much their own way. This game was a battle, and fortunately Rovers had the fresh legs of Te and Pankov to call upon in order to keep pushing the team forward. Some great passing between Moskaluk, Smyslov and Khanan continued to create chances for Rovers, but they found the opposition goalkeeper to be on fine form. Finally, though, the persistence paid off, and two quick goals allowed Rovers to get a foot hold in the game. As the game progressed, Rovers remained solid and resolute. Huge plaudits must go to defensive mainstays Moskaluk and Petrov, whose tireless work and organized defending gave Rovers their second successive clean sheet of the day. Not much more you can ask from your defenders than 0 goals conceded in 80 minutes of fast flowing football. The final score was Rovers 2-0 ФК Молодежка, and with Rovers sitting high in the early league table, they will be looking forward to carrying their fine form into match-day 2 in a fortnight’s time!