Shakhtar players in Ukraine national team: sparring with Malta
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
On June 6, Ukraine national team held a friendly match versus Malta in Austria
Ukraine 0-1 Malta
Goal: 0-1 Muscat (14)
Ukraine: Pyatov, Moroziuk (Butko, 46), Kucher (Kryvtsov, 46), Rakits’kyy (Ordets, 46), Matviienko (Sobol, 46), Stepanenko (Shepelev, 46), Sydorchuk (Malyshev, 46), Yarmolenko (Tsygankov, 46), Kovalenko (Shakhov, 46), Malinovskyi (Konoplyanka, 46), Seleznov (Besedin, 46)
Olexandr Kucher brought the Yellow-Blues onto the pitch wearing the captain's armband. Shakhtar players Andriy Pyatov, Yaroslav Rakits’kyy, Mykola Matviienko, Taras Stepanenko and Viktor Kovalenko started from the opening minutes of the match.
The opening stages saw the Ukrainians exert more control on possession, but the real chances were few and far between. In the 11th minute, Seleznov sent his header into the near corner following a cross from Moroziuk, but failed to hit the woodwork. Later, Rakits’kyy tried to curl the ball from a free kick into the top corner of the net only to see the goalkeeper denying the danger. The Maltese side converted one of their few opportunities: Muscat dashed out from behind the defenders’ backs and tapped a cross from the flank home to make it 0-1.
The best part of the first half passed in the heavy rain and hail. Ukraine national team were on the front foot, with few clear-cut opportunities created. In one of the episodes, Kovalenko latched onto a low cross from Yarmolenko, but his shot was blocked by the defender with a slide tackle. Then Viktor nearly capitalised on a goalkeeper’s error, which made a slide tackle and managed to knock out the ball. In the closing stages of the first half, Pyatov displayed a reliable performance as the opponent went one-on-one with him.
At the break, Andriy Shevchenko replaced ten field players. In particular, the Donetsk side’s players Bohdan Butko, Serhii Kryvtsov, Ivan Ordets and Maksym Malyshev emerged on the field. Matviienko made way for Eduard Sobol on the left flank of the defensive line.
Shakhtar's football players operated actively: Kryvtsov registered a pile-driver from the long range, as Butko made a breakthrough along the flank before playing a pass at the corner of the goal box to create a nice effort for Tsyhankov, however, Bonello did nicely in goal. Shepelev could equalize the score yet in the dying minutes of the clash but draggged his kick wide.
On June 11, the Yellow-Blues are to play Finland as part of the World Cup 2018 qualification campaign in Tampere.