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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dynamo Loses as Soccer Season Kicks Off

Dynamo Moscow bumbled into the new soccer season Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Krylya Sovietov at Dynamo Stadium.

A cold crowd of 7,000 saw a poor display on a more-brown-than-green pitch by Dynamo, which was generally out-thought by a more skillful side. Krylya Sovietov scored the only goal of the game when Karen Dokhoyam headed in a free kick one minute into the second half.

Dynamo captain Rolan Gusyev had hit the bar with a penalty in the first half, after striker Dmitry Bulykin had been clumsily fouled.

Dynamo's loss capped a bad first weekend for Moscow clubs, which took only four points from a possible 18.

Hopefully, the first day of the season Saturday was not a sign of what is to come, with five draws and only nine goals in the opening seven games.

There were worries that the clubs would not be ready for one of the earliest starts ever to the Russian season, but if the pitches hardly looked their best, they still held out.

Spartak looked as if it was still suffering from a Champions League hangover as it drew 0-0 with newly promoted Sokol Saratov. Spartak coach Vyacheslav Grozny called the display "distinctly average," Gazeta.ru reported.

Spartak failed to score for the fourth game in a row, and now hasn't scored in a competitive outdoor game since its victory over Arsenal last year.

One bright spot was the return of striker Alexander Shirko from injury, although he failed to finish the match. Sweeper Dmitry Ananko went off with an injured rib, and is likely to miss Spartak's final Champions League game against Lyon on Wednesday.

Last year's runner-up, Lokomotiv Moscow, could only draw 0-0 away to Rostselmash Rostov, even though the home side was down to 10 men for most of the second half. While the new, old national anthem of the Soviet days rang out at the start of six of the other games, it was only at Rostselmash that the old, old anthem by 19th-century composer Glinka greeted both sides.

The only two sides to win Saturday were Novorossiisk Chernomorets, which beat CSKA Moscow 2-0, and Saturn, which defeated Alania Vladikavkaz 1-0, also at home.

One good sign after the first day was the healthy crowds seen in the provinces. A full stadium of 24,000 saw Fakel Voronezh draw 1-1 with Torpedo Moscow, with even the reserve match the day before attracting a crowd of 4,500.

That was nearly as many as saw the other Torpedo — Torpedo Zil — draw 1-1 against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow, while only 13,000 Spartak fans echoed around the 84,000-capacity Luzhniki.

This is the first season the two Torpedoes will appear in the same division since the Zil club was formed in a split from Torpedo in 1996. Both clubs still consider themselves the heir to the Torpedo side that won three league championships in the 1960s and '70s.