"ARARAT-73". (Part 11,15.08.1973)

Again in the final 19 years later.

Tough "Ararat" didn't accumulate scores in the last three championship matches, it continued to play successfully in the cup competition. On August 15, "Ararat" played the second semifinal match against "Dnipr" in Yerevan. "Ararat" won "Dnipr" two weeks ago in Dnipropetrovsk due to the only goal scored by Margarov. Taking into consideration this fact, as well as the fact that 5 days later "Ararat" would
 have to play the most decisive match in the championship in Kiev, "Ararat" had concentrated its whole power on defense. The main actions were going on the central part of the field. If this play style and tactics was acceptable for "Ararat", the emphasized defensive tactics chosen by the Ukrainian footballers was unexpected. It was obvious that the players were trying to carry out their coach Valeri Lobanoski's instructions.
The first dangerous moment was created by Andreasyan and Zanazanyan, when Zanazanyan's shot was a little bit high. "Ararat's" defenders joined the attacks quite frequently in this match. Khazaryan was displacing the defenders skillfully making free zones in the centre for Martirosyan.
And at the end of the half Khazaryan passed the ball to Margarov, who opened the score with a great shot. Margarov's goal was the sole one as in Dnipropetrovsk, as well as in Yerevan. "Ararat's" central forward scored his fifth goal at the current cup competition. After 19 year pause, "Ararat" again won a chance to struggle for the cup. "Ararat's" rival was still unknown. A day later "Dinamo" K. and "Dinamo" M. played their first match in Kiev (1:1), and only on September 12, after their second match (1:1) it became obvious, that as it was 19 years ago, "Ararat" again would have to play against "Dinamo" K.
The opinions of the both coaches are interesting enough after the match against "Dnipr".
Nikita Simonyan: "Footballers, especially the defenders were instructed to play very attentively, and they solved this problem easily. The other players were also concentrated on the match. This fact that we won the final entry card requires no comments. But the championship is still going on, the most decisive match is still to come which will surely be tense enough. We will try our best".
Valeri Lobanovski: "We were ready to struggle against the leader of the championship. As a matter of fact, I was expecting more from "Ararat", as they won a victory over us in the first match in a beautiful style. The match was flooded with dangerous moments. I am pleased with my players. Today's match was very interesting and worth watching".

The Decisive match

5 days later after winning USSR CUP Final entry card, "Ararat" played against its main rival in Kiev. There is no need to state how important this match was for the rivals. Hovhannes Zanazanyan was unable to play that day because of the injury and he was substituted by the fifth defender. Martirosyan, Gevorgyan, Haroutunyan and Kovalenko were playing in the defence, and Sargsyan together with Andreasyan, Poghosyan and Margarov had formed the second defensive layer. This was a good strategy, and because of that the Ukrainian players were unable to find the key to "Ararat's" goals. At the beginning of the match they organized a great combination but Abrahamyan saved Blokhin's shot. Then it was "Ararat's" turn. Margarov's shot was saved by Damini. The forwards Khazaryan and Ishtoyan were in the shade. In the second half the Ukrainian footballers reached the desired result. Kolotov passed the ball to Blokhin, who opened the score. Buryak scored soon for the second time. Soon Blokhin scored for the third time after three-step combination. And only at the end of the match Margarov scored his goal. Due to this victory, "Dinamo" K. became the leader in the fixture list. And this was the fourth match for "Ararat" without any score. Everything had to be started again.

The History was repeated again

The 22nd tour matches were to be played on September 1. But "Dinamo" K. played against "Spartak" M. earlier, on August 25. Though the Ukrainian footballers opened the score, "Spartak" could save the match. First Diskaryov equalled the score, and then at the end of the match Kisilyov brought victory to "Spartak". In fact, "Spartak" gave "Ararat" a good chance to be the leader in the fixture list again. And "Ararat" made use of it. It was the 9th tour when "Ararat" became the leader after beating "Kayrat" with 4:1. They preserved their leadership until 21st tour, when they were again defeated by "Dinamo" K. So the history was repeated again. It was very hard for "Ararat" to overcome the psychological obstacle. Right at the beginning of the match against "Kayrat" Rozhkov was about to score, but Abrahamyan saved his team. A little later Abrahamyan had to save once again, 10 minutes later Abrahamyan again saved Likhosherstinikh's shot. Only after these dangerous moments "Ararat" started to play its game and score. Bondarenko opened the score, Ishtoyan scored for the second time. After the break "Ararat" scored twice (Margarov and Ishtoyan). So "Ararat" became the leader after this match, and preserved its position up to the end of the championship.

The Second match

"Ararat" - "Dnipr" 1:0 (1:0)
August 15, Yerevan, "Hrazdan" stadium, 57.000 fans.
Referee - A. Tabakov (Moscow).
"Ararat" - Abrahamyan, Gevorgyan, Sargsyan (Bondarenko, 84), A. Haroutunyan, Martirosyan, Andreasyan, S. Petrosyan, Ishtoyan (N. Petrosyan, 60), Margarov, Zanazanyan, Khazaryan.
"Dnipr" - Sobetski, Sergeyev, Nayda, Bogdanov, Sklyar, Grinko (Solovyov, 78), Maslov, Yevseenko, Pilipchuk, Romanyuk, Khristyan.
Scorer - Margarov (40).
Khristyan was yellow carded.
"Dinamo" K. - "Dinamo" M. 1:1 (first match).
12. 9 "Dinamo" M. - "Dinamo" K. 1:1, 5-6 by 11 penalty shots.

21st Tour.

"Dinamo" K. - "Ararat" 3:1 (0:0)
August 20, Kiev, Central stadium, 80.000 fans.
Referee - V. Rudnev (Moscow).
"Dinamo" - Samokhin - 4, Damin - 5, Matvienko - 5, Fomenko - 5, Reshko - 5, Troshkin - 5, Muntyan - 5, Semyonov - 4 (Buryak, 46-5), Kolotov - 5 (Dotsenko, 81), Veremeyev - 5, Blokhin - 5.
"Ararat" - Abrahamyan - 2 , Gevorgyan - 2, Sargsyan - 2, Kovalenko - 2 , Martirosyan - 2, Andreasyan - 2, A. Haroutunyan - 2, (S. Petrosyan, 71), Ishtoyan - 2 (N. Petrosyan, 63), Margarov - 2, Poghosyan - 2, Khazaryan -2.
Scorers - Blokhin (52, 78), Buryak (66), Margarov (84).
Andreasyan and Fomenko were yellow carded.