Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ukraine September 2011

This was a long weekend trip to the Ukraine to see two games including a visit to Dynamo Kiev for their league game against Illychivets.

Vorskla Poltava 3 Chornomorets 1.

The Vorskla stadium is in the older style with a track, curved ends and an array of open seating.

The turnout on this Saturday afternoon was moderate, 4000, on a cool but thankfully dry day.

They saw the home side take their time to get going.
But when the away goalie was sent off for bringing down a home player it became easier.

Albanian Januzi headed in from a corner and Vorskla added two more in the second half including a nice left shot from Rebenok.
The team from Odessa just had a late consolation.

Overall the local team, who have progressed to the group stage of the Europa League this season, had a comfortable win.
Their strength seemed to be more as a counter attacking team.

Poltava itself, a four hour train ride east from Kiev, probably doesn’t detain tourists for too long although the vodka at around 40p a shot is great value.
And there is an excellent hotel (the Palazzo) to take care of visitors, who included the Chornomorets players.

Dynamo Kiev 3 Illychivets 1.

Local hero Andrei Shevchenko came on for the last half hour of this one and soon got the crowd chanting ‘Sheva’ ‘Sheva’.
He looked in good shape and showed some of those skills from the past, especially when dribbling past a couple of defenders to set up a cross that just eluded an incoming forward.

Not that Dynamo really needed much help as they had scored early on, added a second, and got the benefit of a bizarre own goal by Butko.
The Dynamo goalie even gifted the visitors their consolation when he contrived to miss a long shot from Kozhanov.

The home side, backed by three groups of ultras, were easy on the eye showing attractive passing skills and a sharpness and quality that always looked too much for Illychivets.
Even so the away side, backed by about 50 fans, did have a good chance near the end of the first period, with the score at 1-0, but this time Shovkovskiy’s legs saved the shot.

The Valery Lobanovsky is another uncovered stadium but in a location both centrally located and neatly surrounded by trees making it feel cosier than many.
There is also a nice gateway entrance and a statue of the great coach on the way to the stadium itself.

On this Sunday evening walking back through the main Kreshchatyk street the area was mostly sealed off from traffic leaving space for the strolling public to enjoy the street entertainment and the colourful lights of this historic city.

This being Ukraine further down the street were the political protestors.

Incidentally the next day I walked over to see the construction going on at the Kiev Olympic stadium which is scheduled to host the final of the 2012 Euros.
And it certainly looks like being an impressive stadium although to this layman they will need a few more months to complete the development.

More pictures at

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