U21. Oleksandriya vs Shakhtar: preview

On Matchday 14 of the Ukrainian U21 league, the Pitmen will play an away game with Oleksandriya. We bring you the preview of the match.

6 November, Oleksandriya, KSK Olimp, 13:00


The league leaders – Shakhtar U21 – will play an away game with Oleksandriya, who are sitting in 10 place after 13 rounds. The Pitmen are topping the table after 12 matches with 31 points, and are four points ahead second-placed Dnipro.

Oleksandriya are newcomers of the Ukrainian top league, but it did not prevent Andriy Kuptsov’s charges from being in the top half of the table after four rounds with nine points. However, after three wins in a row, which led to six losses in a row.  In the last three rounds the teams got one win, draw and home defeat 1-0 against Vorskla on 31 October.

Before match

In the previous round, the Pitmen got a win in Kreminchuk over Zorya with score of 2-0, being reduced to ten men in the beginning of the second half. Mykyta Bezuglyi got red card for rough play, and he will miss the game with Oleksandriya. On Tuesday, some Shakhtar U21 players took part in the UEFA Youth League with Malmo in Morshyn, which the Pitmen won 3-1.

Oleksandriya entertain their opponents on a small stadium called Olimp, where around one hundred players come. Quite often the first-team players were deployed in the U21 squad. The last game with Vorskla saw experienced Serhiy Starenkyi, Artem Polyarus and Ruslan Stepanyuk take part in the game.

Match referee – Anatoliy Zhabchenko (Khmelnitskiy)
Assistant referees – Andriy Skripka (Kirovograd), Marina Streletskaya (Sumy)
Fourth referee – Denys Fedan (Oleksandriya)
Referee observer – Gennadiy Kovalenko (Kyiv)

Head-to-head record

In the opening round of the current league campaign, Shakhtar had to work hard to get a 1-0 win over Oleksandriya in Schaslyve. Oleksandriya defended well and counterattacked dangerously, with the only goal scored on 59 minutes courtesy of Serhiy Gryn.

For Oleksandriya U21, the current season is only the second one in the history. Earlier in the 2011-12 season, Oleksandriya, just like the first team, finished last, 16th place. Interestingly, the outsiders managed to take points in the matches against leaders. The future league winners Shakhtar also lost points, when they failed to hold on to a winning result away at Oleksandriya to finish the game 2-2. In the home match the Pitmen claimed a hard-fought 3-1 win.

Interesting facts

The U21 league top scorer – Shakhtar’s top scorer Andriy Boryachuk – scored 15 goals in 12 matches – two goals more than Oleksandriya U21 players scored combined. The Pitmen’s defence remains the most solid in the current championship: only 9 goals conceded. But Oleksandriya, compared to other teams from bottom half of the table, do not concede a lot – 19 goals. Besides, Oleksandriy U21 head coach Andriy Kuptsov devoted four seasons of his career (1988-1992) to Shakhtar, for whom he played 40 matches.