Russian News Wrap: Zenit St. Petersburg Boss Dick Advocaat On Belgian Radar

Con Stamocostas goes behind the headlines in the RPL...
In Russian football news this week:

CSKA To Play Rubin In Cup Final

CSKA beat Moscow rivals Dynamo for the second time in a week to go through to the Russian Cup final.

After beating beat Dynamo 2-1 in the league on Saturday in what was a dress rehearsal for the Wednesday night’s semi-final, CSKA were looking to make it two wins in a week against their old city rivals.

So, with the score 2-0 in CSKA’s favour and five minutes left on the clock, the Army Men must have had one eye on the final.

Brazilian striker Wagner Love scored the first goal. The blue and black dreadlocked one scored from the penalty spot late in the first half. Yuri Zhirkov doubled the lead early in the second half.

However, Dynamo fought back late in the game. First, Dmitri Khokhlov scored for the Blues and Whites in the 85th minute. Then Russian national team striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov netted an equaliser close to full-time.

Extra-time couldn’t separate the teams, so penalties decided who would face Rubin Kazan in cup final.

Spot kicks ended 6-5, with CSKA victorious. The Army Men go through to play Rubin Kazan in the final on May 31.

Dick Advocaat Set For Belgian Role

Reports in numerous Russian media outlets have suggested that Zenit St. Petersburg boss Dick Advocaat could be coaching Belgium by the end of the year.

Russian newspaper Sports Express was told by the head of the Belgian FA that Zenit St. Petersburg boss Dick Advocaat will take over as coach of the Belgian national side when his contract expires at the end of this year.

"You can consider the deal closed," Francois De Keersmaeker told the paper. "We have held comprehensive talks with Advocaat and he will sign a two-year contract in the next few days."

It appears that Zenit will not let their manger go so easily. Advocaat, who took over at Zenit in 2006 and has led them to the Russian title and the UEFA Cup, has previously managed his native Netherlands (twice), South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Glasgow Rangers and Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach.

"Advocaat's contract expires on December 31, 2009," Zenit's general director Maxim Mitrofanov told the paper. "Until then there can be no question of him combining the posts."

Belgium had wanted Advocaat, 61, to combine his work with Zenit and their national side, however, De Keersmaeker said that the UEFA Cup holders were "categorically against" this option.

"As regards the future, we are entirely satisfied with our current trainer, and we would like to continue our joint work," Mitrofanov added.

The Belgians look unlikely to allow Advocaat to remain in Russia.

"We are in principle against the practice of combining posts, but when we are talking about a respected trainer we can make exceptions," commented De Keersmaeker. "That said, this is unlikely to be possible in Advocaat's case as the distance between Belgium and St. Petersburg is too great."

Sport Express said that Advocaat's salary will be €2 million a year.

The Zenit trainer told the paper in a brief statement that the deal with the Belgium FA would only be sealed "next week".

Russia - Argentina Arranged For August 12

Yesterday the Russian Football Union management confirmed information that the Russian national team will play a friendly match with Argentina in Moscow on August 12.

Both sides have already reached an agreement, with only the stadium to be decided.

RFU general director Alexey Sorokin spoke about holding a friendly match between the teams of Guus Hiddink and Diego Maradona.

“These details concern demands for the lineup and other organizational issues,” he explained.

“For example it’s still unclear at which stadium the game will take place, as it will depend on the ongoing consultations and desire of the Argentinean side".

Con Stamocostas, Goal.com