Star striker Samuel Eto’o has celebrated his debut in the Russian Premier League with a goal to help Anzhi salvage a 1-1 draw away at Rostov.
The sides were deadlocked at 0-0 when Anzhi coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev introduced Eto’o into the game in the 58th minute.
It seemed at first that the world’s highest-paid footballer would get lost in the Makhachkala team’s defensive play. Things looked bleak for Anzhi when Rostov took the lead after Timofev Kalachev curved in a splendid free-kick in the 72nd minute to make it 1-0 to the home side.
However, when Eto’o recieved his chance – his only one of the night – he proved that he’s worth every penny billionaire Suleyman Kerimov paid for him.
Yury Zhurkov dribbled through three of the home-team defenders in the 80th minute and the Cameroonian was right there to direct his cross into the net and get his first Russian goal to make the final score 1-1.
Anzhi coach said the only reason Eto’o appeared on the pitch so late is that the striker hasn’t gained his perfect physical conditions yet.
“I’m satisfied with how he entered the game,” Gadzhiev added.
Former Inter Milan player, Samuel Eto’o, swapped Inter Milan for Anzhi last week, signing a three-year-deal with Russian club.
No official figures have been released, but according to media reports the transfer cost Anzhi around $39 million, with the player’s annual salary reaching the sum of $29 million.
Two other fixtures from match day 22 of the Russian Premier League were played on Saturday.
FC Tom 0-0 Amkar Perm
Amkar Perm took a point away from Tomsk thanks to a superb display from keeper Sergey Narubin.
The visiting goalie saved his team several times and stopped a 55th-minute penalty from Tom’s top scorer Andrey Golyshev.
Volga Nizhny Novgorod 3-1 Terek Grozny
Lowly Volga gave nothing away to Terek Grozny, who are far from confident when playing on the road.
Some sloppy defending from the guests allowed the Nizhny Novgorod side to grab a 2-0 lead by halftime.
Sanzhar Tursunov and Gogita Gogua were both unmarked when scoring from inside the box.
The sides exchanged goals after the restart, with Volga picking up an easy win to move away from the relegation zone.