UPL – Round 13 Review

Markevychs' side holds onto the lead of the UPL
Markevychs’ side holds onto the lead of the UPL

The game of the week was in Kharkiv as league leaders Metalist entertained the impressive Chornomorets.  The game was not a classic and was a tactical battle throughout.  Metalist had the initiative throughout the tie, but they could not break through the Chornomorets ranks.  Marko Device came closest to scoring as he fired a free kick against the cross bar.  Roman Gregorchuk tactically out smarted Myron Markevych as Chornomorets earned an impressive point against Metalist.  Dnipro and Shakhtar are now snapping at the heals of the Kharkiv club, and any further slip ups will be pounced on.  The point keeps Chornomorets ahead of Dynamo in 4th place.

Illichivets Marioupol gave Shakhtar a scare as they led at half time in the Donetsk Oblast derby.  Illichivets took the lead in the 38th minute as Taras Stempanenko unfortunately deflected a cross past Andriy Pyatov and into the back of his own net.  In the second half, Shakhtar improved and were awarded a penalty following a daft foul by Ruslan Fomin in the 66th mninute.  Captain Darijo Srna made no mistake as he drove home the penalty making it 1:1.  This put Shakhtar firmly in the fight and on the front foot and they were further rewarded in the less than 10 minutes later with another penalty, following yet another careless foul in the box by the Marioupol defence.  Once again Darijo Srna stepped up and again he scored to give Shakhtar the lead.  Luiz Adriano finished off Illichivets with a 3rd goal for Shakhtar as they made most of the tricky conditions and grabbed themselves a vital 3 points.

Heading in to the tie against  Dnipro, Karpaty had been in fine form, but they were comfortably beaten by the superior Dnipro side.  Bruno Gama was the difference in the first half, as his two goals settled the tie.  In the second half, Dnipro added further goals through Matheus and a wonder strike from Ukrainian hitman Yevhen Seleznyov.  A convincing 4:0 victory for Dnipro keeps them firmly in the title hunt.  Karpaty will be hoping that this is just a slight set back, and a return to the improved form will follow.

Dmytro Khomchenkovskyi continued his fine form which has seen him become a regular member of Mykhaylo Fomenko’s Ukraine squad this season as he twice assisted and scored a fantastic goal on the way to a comfortable 3:0 victory for Zorya against Sevastopol.  The first goal came in the 20th minute as Khomchenkovskyi’s pass was met by Lyubenovich who fired home.  The second strike was a beauty from Khomchenkovskyi as he acrobatically manouvered his body to fire home a volley from the edge of the box, in turn scoring the goal of the week.   Khomechenkovskyi then turned provider once again as his crossed was turned into his own net by Vitaliy Vitsenets.  A solid 3:0 win for Zorya and a great performance from Dmytro Khomchenkovskyi.

Dynamo continued their improved form with a comfortable victory at the Valeri Lobanovskyi stadium over Arsenal in the Kyiv derby.  Jermaine Lens opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a strike which left Stanislav Bogush with no chance.  The result was sealed on the half hour as Andriy Yarmolenko had space in the Arsenal box and made no mistake.  Dynamo ran out comfortable 2:0 winners in a game set a light by the Dynamo Ultras.  Further doubts have been cast over the future of Arsenal Kyiv however, as funding has dried up and their are serious question as to whether they can fulfil Round 14’s fixture against Tavriya.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a clash of two sides looking to pull away from the bottom of the table as Volyn hosted Hoverlya.  The only goal of the game was scored by Dushan Savich as he capitalised on a mix up at the back by the Volyn defence, to give Hoverlya a crucial win and 3 more points as they pull toward safety and midtable obscurity.

Vorskla predictably defeated Metalurg Zp on Saturday evening, as the Zaporizhyan side’s slump continues.  Artem Gormov and an Andriy Sakhnevych own goal sandwiched a Ruslan Platon goal to give Vorskla the three points and continue their fine form and maintain 6th place in the UPL table.

Metalurg Donetsk defeated Tavriya in another game dubbed a fore gone conclusion.  Junior Moraes scored a brace for Metalurg to condemn Tavriya to their 12th defeat in 13 games.  A glimmer of hope was provided as Marin Lubicic did equalise between the goals, but Metalurg had too much from Janis Cristopolis’ side.

1 Metalist 12 9 3 0 26 7 30
2 Shakhtar 13 9 2 2 34 12 29
3 Dnipro 12 9 2 1 25 9 29
4 Chornomorets 13 7 4 2 13 8 25
5 Dynamo 13 7 3 3 26 15 24
6 Vorskla 13 6 5 2 20 17 23
7 Zorya 13 5 4 4 18 11 19
8 Metalurh D 13 5 2 6 18 26 17
9 Illichivets 13 5 1 7 10 13 16
10 Karpaty 13 4 4 5 12 17 16
11 Hoverlya 13 4 2 7 12 16 14
12 Sevastopol 13 3 4 6 15 23 13
13 Volyn 13 3 4 6 10 20 13
14 Arsenal 13 3 1 9 10 28 10
15 Metalurh Z 13 1 3 9 14 23 6
16 Tavriya 13 1 0 12 7 25 3




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