PREVIEW & LIVE STREAM: Russian American Football Semi-Finals

Federation of American of Russia holding semi-finals this Saturday

With the football season in Russia reaching its conclusion, this upcoming Saturday features two very intriguing semifinal matchups, as all of the four remaining teams are considered to have a real shot at the Championship.

Moscow Patriots v. St. Petersburg Griffins

In the first game of the night, the St. Petersburg Griffins will host the perennial champion Moscow Patriots in another rivalry of the nation’s largest cities. The guests are widely considered the most-experienced and talented team in the country, featuring some of the players that won the 2002 European Youth Championship with the national team – Russia’s biggest accomplishment in international American football to date. However, the Griffins, who lost in the last year’s Finals at the same home field, are determined to avenge themselves for their home fans. “Although this is going to be by far the toughest opponent we faced this year, flexibility on both sides of the ball will allow us to take advantage of the mismatches that even they will inevitably have, which combined with our determination and home crowd support, will hopefully allow us to achieve the result that we’re looking for” – says the OC Alexander Ilichev.

 Watch it live on Saturday 8/30/14 at 11 a.m. CET, 5 a.m. EST below!

LIVE STREAM: Moscow Patriots v. St. Petersburg Griffins

(signal with begin near game time)

Nizhny Novgorod Raiders v. Astrakhan Gladiators

The other game will see the Nizhny Novgorod Raiders 52 travel some 1500 km South to the city of Astrakhan to face the local Gladiators. Both the long travelling distance and their previous record (Raiders 52 lost to the Gladiators once in each of the last two seasons, although both games were pretty close) are expected to play heavily into host’s favor, as does their perfect record in 2014 so far. However, the guests are not planning to stop just one step shy of the Finals without putting up a fight, and their history shows that the Raiders 52 are more then capable in that regard. After all, they do have quite a remarkable record in the games where they are considered underdogs: winning against the incumbent champion Moscow Black Storm to deny them a playoff berth this season, and keeping the heavily-favored Moscow United out of the playoffs in 2013.

Russian Semis Poster 2

Ilya Kravtsov
After being involved in bringing American football to his hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia, Ilya would go on to play in the Japanese X-League, helping his side Tokyo Bullseyes advance all the way to the top tier of the league and become the only non-corporate team in X-1. He's currently the defensive coordinator of St. Petersburg Griffins, as well as the head coach of St. Petersburg Valkyries.
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