Monthly review: FC Dinamo Tbilisi sit top in Georgia where Temur Makharadze is FC Zestafoni's new coach.
By Denis Novitsky
FC Dinamo Tbilisi have opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Georgian Premier League following a 3-2 win over defending champions FC WIT Georgia on 16 October.
Melkadze scores twice
Levan Melkadze scored twice for Dinamo, the cup holders, as they went 3-1 ahead before Otar Martsvaladze claimed a late consolation for WIT. Georgi Nemsadze, for Dinamo, and Erekle Merebashvili, with a penalty for WIT, were the other scorers.
The same day brought Temur Makharadze's first match as FC Zestafoni coach against FC Torpedo Kutaisi. His new charges held second-placed Torpedo to a 1-1 draw but Makharadze had to watch from the stands, courtesy of a suspension dating back to last season's championship-deciding match when his team, FC Sioni Bolnisi, lost the title to WIT amid player and crowd disturbances.
Fourth coach this season
Makharadze is not the first new coach at Zestafoni this season, with the club's new president, Ilia Kokia, having wielded the axe several times already. Moldovan Vladimir Zemlianoj was the first to lose his job, followed by Zaza Gurielidze and Zaur Chubinidze before Makharadze was called in.
Makharadze's former club Sioni are looking for a new coach after Varlam Kilasonia resigned following a 2-1 defeat at FC Dila Gori, which left them bottom. Saba Sultanishvili scored twice for unfancied Dila as Sioni - whose poor form contrasts markedly with their challenge for the title last term - were left ruing a late miss by Mamuka Rusia. They are one of four teams tied on seven points at the bottom.
At the top, Dinamo have a four-point lead over Torpedo, having taken 26 points from eleven matches. Third-placed FC Dinamo Batumi and FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi drew 1-1 on 16 October, Avtandil Glonti's second-half equaliser earning Batumi a point after Mikheil Bobokhidze had put the away side ahead. Fourth-placed FC Tbilisi suffered a setback as they lost 1-0 at FC Kolkheti-1913 Poti.
Kinkladze heads for Cyprus
Meanwhile one of Georgia's most famous footballers, Georgi Kinkladze, has teamed up with old friend Temur Ketsbaia at Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta FC. Ketsbaia is the player-coach there.
Finally, a present Georgian international, forward Shota Arveladze, is facing an uncertain future at Scotland's Rangers FC. "My contract is till the end of the year but Rangers didn't make any offers," he said. "If the club do not offer me anything soon I know that I have to find a new team."