Metalist this week fell foul of past misdemeanour’s as they were disqualified from UEFA competition for the season 2013/14 and were thus expelled from the UEFA Champions League. CAS ruled a guilty verdict over the match fixing scandal which has hung over Karpaty and Metalist since 2008. Once the verdict was reached, UEFA’s disciplinery body then ruled that Metalist should serve a suspension and were therefore expelled from the competition. Metalis appealed this decision and there was hope that they could be granted a reprisal and be reinstated however CAS ruled that UEFA’s decision should stand. Metalist then filed an 2nd urgent appeal and were preparing to travel to Germany in preparation for the game vrs Schalke but CAS again dismissed the appeal, so Metalist’s Champions League dream was broken before it got going. This meant that despite losing to Metalist in the previous round, Greek side FC PAOK were reinstated and faced Schalke. For those interested, the game finished 1:1.
In the Europa League, Dynamo travelled to Kazakhstan for an away day against Aktobe. On a difficult pitch Dynamo took the lead through Andriy Yarmolenko before an own goal from Benoit Tremulians levelled proceedings. A quick fire double in the second half from Brown Ideye and Younes Belhanda seemingly gave Dynamo control of the tie. There was a further twist late on however as Aktobe pulled another goal back but Dynamo left with a 3:2 victory. It was by no means a memorable performance from the Ukrainian Giants but it was a win and they have more than enough about them to finish the job off in Kyiv and make the group stages of the Europa League.
Dnipro also got an away win and also got 3 away goals. Like Dynamo, Dnipro were heavy favourites heading into the tie in Estonia against Nemme Kalju. Yevhen Seleznyov continued his fine goal scoring start to the campaign with a calm penalty giving Dnipro the lead. Guiliano double the advantage with a deflected effort from outside the box and Roman Zozulya effectively ended the tie as a competition making it 3:0 early in the second half. Kalju immediately responded however giving Dnipro a warning not to become complacent. However, like Dynamo, Dnipro should have enough to finish the job.
Chornomorets Odesa had the most difficult tie facing Champions League drop outs and Albanian Champions Skenderbeu. Skenderbeu were defeat by Kazakh side Shaktyor Karagandy in the Champions League and have aspirations of reaching the group stages like Chornomorets. In a close fought game it took a wonder strike from the experienced Oleksiy Hai to give Chornomorets a crucial victory, by the narrowest of margins. Chornomorets also crucially kept a clean sheet, avoiding conceding the perilous away goal. The game is on a knife edge, but if Chornomorets are able to grab a goal in Albania, they will surely be close to securing a spot in the Europa League group stages.
The return legs in all the Europa League ties take place on Thursday 29th August, with the draw for the Champions League (involving Shakhtar) and the Europe League group stages on Friday 30th.