Gandzasar on the rise in Armenia

uefa.com, Switzerland

Gandzasar on the rise in Armenia

Friday 21 September 2007 by Khachik Chakhoyan from
Yerevan

In the last month FC Gandzasar Kapan made the biggest
progress of all the top-flight clubs. The team from
the south of Armenia won five matches in a row and
moved from sixth place to third.

Barsegyan replacement
At the beginning of the year, coach Albert Sargsyan
left the team and the board of the club began looking
for a replacement. They signed a short-term contract
with ex-Armenia coach Suren Barsegyan, who started
preparing for the new season. Like all other local
clubs, Gandzasar started the campaign with national
cup games.

Contenders defeated
In the last 16 they beat first division side FC
Bentonit 1-0 at home but lost the away game 2-0 to bow
out of the tournament. After that they made a great
start in the Armenian league, winning their first
match at home to title contenders FC Ararat Yerevan.
This victory inspired Gandzasar and the team went on
to defeat FC Ulis Yerevan and draw with FC Shirak and
FC Kilikia.

Coach departs
After four rounds the team were in second place but
then Barsegyan left the club to take control of Ulis.
Without the coach, the team suffered four subsequent
defeats at the hands of leaders FC Pyunik, FC Banants,
FC MIKA and Ararat. After that ex-Pyunik coach Samvel
Petrosyan was given a place at the helm. This decision
brought an immediate effect with the team becoming
more solid at the back and more aggressive up front.

Awesome August
As a result the Kapan club earned a surprise victory
at Banants then won five games in August. The third
round of the Armenian championship started for
Gandzasar with another win against Ararat. This was
the beginning of a great run of five matches. The most
important victory was gained in an away match against
reigning champions Pyunik (2-1) which saw Gandzasar
pull level with third-placed Banants. Gandzasar’s key
player is the experienced Artur Kocharyan, who is an
idol for local supporters.

Player influx
The striker is their leading goalscorer for the second
year running. Last term he scored 15 goals and has
seven already in this campaign. The squad was recently
strengthened with Pyunik’s Valeri Aleksanyan, Banants’
Artak Oseyan and two Romanian players – Constantin
Paunescu and Virgil Marsavela. Their recent success
has inspired the club’s board to be more active in the
transfer market with four more players currently on
trial.

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