Introducing opponents: Skenderbeu (Albania)
On June 30, Shakhtar will play their second match of the summer training camp. Shakhtar’s opponents will be the Albanian KF Skenderbeu Korce.
The club’s name is not accidential. The team was named after the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg. The official founding date is considered to be 15 April 1909. Although back then, Skenderbeu were still a semi-professional team. The club has been playing at a higher level since 1930, when they took part in the Albanian Super League for the first time. Since then, the team from the city of Korce have been fighting for the top spot in the table against the domestically well-known Tirana and Vllaznia.
It took them little time to win the first trophy. Skenderbeu won their first league title back in 1933. But only 78 years later the club managed to replicate the success, namely in 2011. Then, the thirsty for victories Albanian giants never let the gold medals slip away from their hands and secured all the consecutive league titles ever since. However, Skenderbeu never made it to the Champions League group stage, being knocked out in the qualifying rounds.
The club plays at the Skenderbeu Stadium which seats seven and a half thousand spectators. The head coach is Mirel Josa. The Albanian specialist has been working with the team since 2012. He previously coached Vllaznia, Teuta and Tirana.
This will be the fifth meeting between Shakhtar and Skenderbeu. All the previous games took place in Going, with Shakhtar winning them all. In 2011 Shakhtar claimed a 1-0 win. The goalscorer is Alan Patrick. In 2012, they claimed the first major win – 5-0. Willian (brace), Ilsinho, Andriy Totovytskyi and Douglas Costa put their names on the scoresheet.
Back in 2013, the Orange-Blacks claimed a still bigger 7-0 win. The goals were scored in succession by Luiz Adriano, Douglas Costa, Alan Patrick, Taison (penalty), Serhiy Bolbat (brace) and Maicon. Last summer they claimed a 3-0 win with Oleksandr Hladkyi, Serhiy Kryvtsov and Taison getting themselves on the scoresheet.