Rondon stars as Rubin run riot
Salomon Rondon turned on the style as Rubin Kazan gave an early show of their Europa League hand in a 5-2 thriller with Maribor.
Last Updated: 19/09/13 9:12pm
Venezuela international Salomon Rondon turned on the style as Rubin Kazan gave an early show of their Europa League hand in a seven-goal thriller with Maribor in Slovenia.
Kurban Berdyev's men thoroughly dominated at the Ljudski vrt stadium and headed back to Russia with goals from Gokdeniz Karadeniz, Ivan Marcano, Roman Eremenko and Alexander Ryazantsev against their name.
Rondon was the star turn, though, and it was fitting that he put the game to bed with a fourth after Martin Milec had made it 2-1 and Nusmir Fajic 3-2 at different stages. Ryazantsev's strike merely topped things off.
The tone for a lively match was set in the early moments, with Mubarak Wakaso scuffing a shot just wide as Rubin and Rondon impressed.
The visitors continued to go forward and Rondon worked Jasmin Handanovic, with the same man whistling an effort just away from goal not long after.
Wakaso then tried his luck again and the pressure ultimately told as the Russians took a 23rd-minute lead.
Karadeniz was the scorer, taking in Chris Mavinga's cross and doing the rest with ease.
One became two four minutes later as well, with Marcano playing the role of Karadeniz and tucking away Bebras Natcho's ball in.
Milec ensured Maribor were not blown away, though, as he cracked in a shot from the edge of the box with 35 minutes gone, giving them a way back in.
Rondon was running Maribor ragged at the back and quickly dragged another shot wide, and the pattern continued into the second half.
Ryazantsev clipped wide and then Rondon had a shot cleared by Zeljko Filipovic, but a deserved third goal arrived with 22 minutes remaining.
Eremenko was the scorer, taking in Ryazantsev's pass and doing the rest from just inside the box.
With a relentless pace, that was never going to be the last word though, and Maribor were back in it with 17 minutes left as Handanovic failed to hold an Aleksander Rajcevic shot and Fajic tapped in.
That gave Maribor the confidence to have a late period of pressure, with Matic Crnic and Damjan Bohar taking aim, but it was fitting that Rondon found the net, finishing from the edge of the box with seconds left, while there was still time for Ryazantsev to repeat his trick.