RECAP: TOMSK 3 - 1 ROSTOV
Eugene Starikov and FC Tom Tomsk closed the door on their 2010 Russian Premier League season with a second half comeback win over Rostov on Sunday at Trud Stadium in Tomsk.
Starikov started up front at striker and played the first 59 minutes before getting substituted out for Kirill Kovalchuk.
In a season where the Siberians rubbed up against the relegation zone for pretty much the entire campaign, Tomsk can take heart heading into the offseason on a bit of a high after winning their final two matches.
The frigid conditions in Tomsk apparently manifested itself within the two teams as neither club really came close to scoring in the first 45 minutes.
However the second half would be a different story and it was Rostov who first got on the board with a goal in the 55th minute to heat things up.
Chavdar Yankov took advantage of some poor clearing by the Tomsk defense and snuck in a left-footed shot from a tight angle on the left side of the area.
But Yankov's goal was quickly answered three minutes later by the hosts when Aleksander Kharitonov curled in a perfectly taken free kick from just outside the penalty area.
Kharitonov rode to the rescue again in the 79th with the game-winning goal. A loose ball in the area led to a mad scramble until the ball fell right to Kharitonov who powered it home. The Rostov players were incensed by a no-call on what they thought was a Tomsk foul in the area.
Tomsk capped off their day with a third goal in second half stoppage time coming from Starikov's replacement.
Rostov sent everyone forward on a corner kick in hopes of equalizing but the ball was cleared by the Tomsk defense. Rostov were able to track down the clearance but then a poor pass at midfield was intercepted by Kovalchuk who had an eternity to waltz toward an open net and tap the ball across for the goal.
Tomsk end the season in eighth position in the 16 team RPL with a total of 37 points.
It remains to be seen this offseason if Starikov will return to Tomsk on-loan for another year or if his parent club and RPL champions Zenit St. Petersburg will elect to include him in their squad for 2011.