Monday, August 26, 2013

11/8/2013 Dynamo Kyiv 1 Chornomorets Odesa 2

My first trip to the football in Ukraine was to the rebuilt Olympiskiy Stadium. Although I had been to the stadium before the redevelopment for 2012 when it was still frequently referred to as Respublikansky, this was my first trip to the rebranded and totally new ground. The crowd of just under 30000 was more than Dynamo would have had for a home game at Dynamo Stadium when that was still considered their home ground, but it still meant a number of empty seats in this massive stadium, although to be fair both the home fans and small band of away fans did their best to create an atmosphere.

In the past this game would have been considered a walk in the park for Dynamo, who have along with Shakhtar been the strongest Ukrainian team more or less since Ukraine had a league and who were a by word for quality football in the Soviet era. Chornomorets have also had their moments, but have rarely threatened for silverware. During this period though both clubs are representing Ukraine in the European League, so perhaps the gulf in class isn't that different at the moment.

What was clear from the start was that the superstars from Kyiv were keen to make an amends for their recent run of poor results and the more workmanlike lads from Odesa weren't going to make it easy for them. Dynamo had attack after attack, but they didn't seem to have the ability to find that final ball. At the same time the guests were defending resolutely. I didn't think that they would be able to deal with such sustained pressure though, however I was to be proved wrong. On 42 minutes and against the run of play Chornomorets hit Dynamo on the break and Priemov fired home to give the guests a shock lead.

It was clear that Oleh Blohin needed to do something at the break and his response was to take off the misfiring Belhandra and Ideie and replace them with Bezus and Mbokani.This seemed to mark a bit of an improvement and on 54 minutes Sydorchuk had a speculative shot which seemed to be going wide. Even the Chornomorets keeper thought it was going wide, but it dipped in and Dynamo were back in the contest.

It was again Dynamo who pressed for the win, but they were again frustrated by resolute defending and an increasing amount of time wasting from the men from the Black Sea. Dynamo were further hampered by an injury to Selin, who had only just come on as a substitute himself. For the last half hour Dynamo were down to 10 men having used all of their subs. Things eventually went from bad to worse when Samodin, who had only been on for a couple of minutes himself scored with 2 minutes left after another counter attack to give the visitors he win and further confound Dynamo's miserable start to the season.

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