U21. Shakhtar vs Mariupol: match report
Friday, August 4, 2017
Shakhtar took on Mariupol in the U21 league round 4
August 4, 2017. Schaslyve. Knyazha Arena. Att: 300. 32 oC.
Shakhtar Donetsk U21 2-2 (2-0) Mariupol U21
Goals: 1-0 Pikhalyonok (25, pen.), 2-0 Pikhalyonok (35, pen.), 2-1 Avagimyan (70), 2-2 Bolbat (89)
Shakhtar: Kudryk, Konoplya, Bondar, Sahutkin, Masalov, Hluschuk (Yakimets, 80), Ihnatenko, Pikhalyonok (c), Yalovenko (Arendaruk, 70), Arabidze (Chahovets, 35), Topalov (Putrya, 90+2)
Unused subs: Hrytsenko, Hlahola, Zinkevych
Head coach: Valeriy Kryventsov
Mariupol: Pospelov, Senytskyi (c) (Sereda, 51), Semenikhin, Bykov, Savin, Avahimyan, Bolbat, Merkushov (Volk, 61), Korobenko, Churko, Boriachuk
Unused subs: Mikhailenko, Belokon, Porodko, Kalinin
Senior coach: Ihor Leonov
Booked: Senytskyi (23), Korobenko (35), Semenikhin (60), Avahimyan (81), Bolbat (85), Sereda (90+3)
Sent off: Bondar (32), Ihnatenko (45)
Referee: Denys Shurman (Kyiv Oblast)
Before the match
Following three rounds, the Miners lead in the youth championship with one hundred percent result. Suffering not a single loss Mariupol are coming 5th in the league table. The top scorer of the previous season Giorgi Arabidze came back into starting eleven, as Yurii Hluschuk dropped behind a forward, making way to Roman Yalovenko on the offensive end. The rivals arrived in Schaslyve, being strengthened by a number of players from the first team (Korobenko, Boriachuk, Churko, Bolbat).
Despite the extremely hot weather (+33 in the shade), the match turned out to be very dynamic and extremely eventful. From the opening minutes, the rivals picked up the high pace and exchanged moments of danger yet in the early stages: Pikhalyonok hit right into Pospelov’s hands, as Semenikhin nearly pushed the ball home from the edge of the goal-area. On the 16th minute, Oleh Kudryk could break the deadlock. The Donetsk side goalkeeper fired the ball out of his penalty area so powerfully, that after hitting the ground it flew past the racing off his line Pospelov and dropped inches away from the post. An opener came as follows: Mariupol players bundled down Yefym Konoplya inside the penalty area, before the referee awarded a spot-kick without a second thought. Oleksandr Pikhalyonok beat the shot-stopper following a pause to make it 1-0. The visiting side picked up the pace and pushed forward, but Kudryk demonstrated a reliable performance. The keeper emerged victorious in two consecutive duels with Boriachuk, as well as prevented Bolbat from notching a goal and denied a free kick from Churko sent into the top corner. Meanwhile, the Orange-and-Blacks had to play with ten men: Valerii Bondar was given the marching orders for the desperate foul. Shakhtar had to patch the holes in the central defensive line by fielding the defender Yevhen Chahovets in place of Arabidze. And after a couple of minutes, Shakhtar claimed the second goal. Yalovenko earned a penalty, before the Donetsk side skipper Pikhalyonok converted it again with a powerful kick into the left corner– 2-0. The hosts finished off the first period going down to nine men, as the referee dismissed Danylo Ihnatenko.
Given such opponents’ numerical superiority, Valeriy Kryventsov had to rebuild the entire game pattern of his team, with the Miners concentrating exclusively on defensive performance after the break. The players had to maintain peak concentration and discipline, and they succeeded in denying attacking moves from the opponents' for a long time. Within nearly twenty minutes, only Sereda had a clearly-cut effort, however, Kudryk showed good reflexes to revert his shot from several meters. However, on 69 minutes, the visitors halved the deficit after all: Avagimyan played one-two with his team-mate to steer the ball into the far top corner from the edge of the box. Towards the end of the match, the players strength oozed away, and the pace slowed down noticeably. Shakhtar's coaching staff refreshed the team with substitutions by bringing on Denys Arendaruk and Volodymyr Yakimets. Even in such a difficult situation, the Donetsk side tried to launch counterattacks, which came to nothing. And with one minute remaining, Sergii Bolbat flicked a long-distance shot in.
Valeriy Kryventsov, Shakhtar U21 head coach:
- Following such a clash, I should say words of gratitude to the players who struggled playing with nine men, fought like lions and gave their all on the pitch. Today, the guys have been great! It's very worthy to play in that heat and to keep it tight at the back more than an hour after going down to ten and nine men. I can only give a standing ovation to the guys.
In the next round on August 11, the Miners will play Oleksandriia away.
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