UPL – Round 7 Review

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In the 7th Round of the UPL this season, there is only one place the round up could start and that is at the Dnipro-Arena as the home side brought down the champions Shakhtar, ending ‘The Miners’ 100% winning start to the season.  In a closely contested first half, neither side could find the break through as Dnipro looked the side with more intent.  The game burst into life at the start of the second half as Yevhen Konoplanyak’s cross was headed home by Roman Zozulya.  It was this combination that again combined in the 63rd minute, Konoplyanka with a set-piece delivery again finding Zozulya and again finding the back of Andriy Pyatov’s goal to give Dnipro a two-goal cushion.  Dnipro’s lead became unassailable when Vyacheslav Shevchuk recklessly fouled Roman Zozulya giving Dnipro a penalty, the first Shakhtar have conceded in two years in the UPL.  Yevhen Seleznyov kept his composure, scoring an initial penalty only for the referee request it be retaken as a result of encroachment.  The ex-Shakhtar forward would not be denied however, banging the re-taken penalty into the back of the net.  There was a late consolation goal for the Shakhtar fans on what was National Miners Day in Ukraine, as Oleksandr Kucher’s header somehow made its way past Denys Boyko and the crossbar in stoppage time.  That was all Shakhtar could have as the day was undoubtedly Dnipro’s with a momentous victory which shows they have the potential to be genuine title contenders.

After the game there were no complaints from the Shakhtar side as they admitted they had been beaten by the better side on the day, both Lucescu and Srna admitting as much, while Yaroslav Rakitskyy issued an apology to fans saying he felt they had let them down on their special day.  It will now be interesting to see if Dnipro can establish a serious challenge or if this victory is a flash in the pan.

Given this defeat, Metalist’s victory over Sevastopol has propelled them into top spot in the UPL.  Marko Devic again bagged another brace, continuing his fine goal scoring exploits this season, leaving him top of the goal scoring charts in the UPL.  In between his goals Yevhen Novak had equalised for the visitors.  In the second half, Metalist had several opportunities to see off the game but couldn’t find the netting, Gomes hitting the cross bar and Jose Sosa inexplicably missing having rounded the defence and goalkeeper.  The match was finally settled when Jonatan Cristaldo was felled in the box by Sevastopol keeper Ihor Lutovka, the keeper saw red which meant the Mariusz Lewandowski ended up being a make shift keeper, but he was unable to deny Cristaldo.  Metalist in the end running out 3:1 winners and finding themselves top of the league after 7 rounds.  It perfectly sets up the top of the table Round 8 clash between Metalist and Shakhtar.

Zorya Luhansk, who lost their unbeaten record in Round 6 suffered another defeat as their dream start to the season has most certainly come to a shuddering hault.  Metalurg Donetsk inflicted the second consecutive defeat of the season on Zorya.  Daniel gave Metalurg an early goal following an assist from Vyacheslav Checher.  Metalurg started the second as they had the first, with a goal, as Checher turned scorer, doubling the advantage and sealing the victory for the home side.

It was a goal fest in Poltava as Vorskla took on Volyn.  Pavlo Rebenok opened the scoring tapping home in the 6th minute of the game and before you new it, Vorksla had double the advantage as Ivan Krivoshenko vollied home after good work on the left by Ahmet Yanuzi for Vorskla.  Just as it seemed that Volyn might be overwhelmed by Vorksla, they immediately hit back through a Bohdan Shershun header and Volyn were level by half time with another header this time from Schumacher. Jan Maslo completely turned the game on its head at the beginning of the second half, Volyn taking the lead in the 50th minute, recovering from 2:0 down.  Volyn could not hold onto the lead however as it slipped from their grasp when Volodymyr Chesnakov scored in the 88th minute equalising for Vorskla.  Both teams will be wondering how they didn’t take 3 points from this highly entertaining encounter.

Arsenal Kyiv’s poor form continued as they lost their 3rd consecutive game, going down at home to Mykola Pavlov’s Illichivets.  Ivan Ordets gave the visitors an early lead before it was double with a contender for goal of the week from Oleksiy Polyanskyi.  Dominic Adeyi pulled a goal back but it could be a long campaign for Arsenal.  Illichivets meanwhile have continued their up turn and currently find themselves on the edge of the Europa League places.

In Western Ukraine, Karpaty Lviv played their 2nd derby in as many games as they hosted Hoverlya.  Serhiy Zenjov scored the only goal of the game, courtesy of a quality assist from Oleksandr Gladkyy to give Karpaty their first victory of the season.   The relief is clear to see at Karpaty and they will be now hoping to put a run of good form together to climb away from the foot of the table and begin an assault on the Ukrainian Premier League. Hoverlya meanwhile, are teetering on the edge and will need to improve their results or face a tough fight this season.

Dynamo maintained their mini-revival with an away victory over Metalurg Zp.  Diermerci Mbokani gave the Kyiv side a lead with an easy tap in following an assist by Andriy Yarmolenko. Yarmolenko then scored a tap in himself assisted by Younes Belhanda to double Dynamos advantage in the second half.  Metalurg Zp got a goal back with a bizarre goal, Yuriy Shtuko’s shot rebounding off the post, hitting Maxym Koval and finding the back of the net.  Despite the win, Dynamo were far from happy with the refereeing in the game, Oleh Blokhin and Andriy Yarmolenko being particularly critical claiming the poor standard of refereeing could cost Dynamo points.

Chornomorets claimed the spoils in the Black Sea Derby condemning Tavriya to their 7th straight defeat at the start of this season.  Serhiy Samodin scored a brace to put The Sailors in control and it was only a late consolation for Tavriya to lower the deficit.  It has been a difficult start to the season for Tavriya and the troubled club faces further turmoil in their fight for survival and Yanis Kristapolis is still searching for his first win and is fighting to keep his job.

 

Team GP W D L GF GA P
1 Metalist 7 6 1 0 16 4 19
2 Shakhtar 7 6 0 1 16 5 18
3 Dnipro 7 5 1 1 14 6 16
4 Chornomorets 7 4 2 1 8 5 14
5 Dynamo 7 4 1 2 11 8 13
6 Vorskla 7 3 3 1 11 8 12
7 Metalurh D 7 3 1 3 7 7 10
8 Illichivets 7 3 1 3 7 7 10
9 Zoria 7 2 3 2 8 7 9
10 Karpaty 7 1 4 2 4 7 7
11 Metalurh Z 7 1 3 3 7 8 6
12 Sevastopol 7 1 3 3 7 12 6
13 Volyn 7 1 3 3 7 15 6
14 Hoverla 7 1 1 5 5 10 4
15 Arsenal 7 1 1 5 5 11 4
16 Tavria 7 0 0 7 2 15 0

In our fantasy league, Andriy remains in control, but courtesy of Roman Zozulya, Stepan has awoken Untitled

 

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