UPL – Round 14 Review

Bartulovic see's Red as Metalist hold on to defeat Karpaty
Bartulovic see’s Red as Metalist hold on to defeat Karpaty

Metalist struck the first blow in the double header between themselves and Karpaty this week.  On Wednesday they meet in the Ukrainian Cup but on Saturday it was all about the UPL.  Despite the absence of coach Myron Markevych in the dug out, Metalist dominated in the first half as they took the game to the visitors from Halychyna.  They were soon rewarded as Alexandra Gomes’ hit from distance was too much for Ilyushenko.  Jose Sosa quickly doubled the advantage for Metalist as they appeared to put the game beyond the Green Lions.  The second half however, was a different tale, as Karpaty came to life.  Mladen Bartulovic scored a screamer from distance to bring Karpaty back into the game, his game didn’t end well however, as he saw red for his second yellow of the game.  Metalist held onto the win and to the top spot in the Ukrainian Premier League.  Attentions now quickly turn to the eagerly anticipated mid-week cup tie as Karpaty will look to knock out Metalist for the 3rd year on the spin.

Dnipro slipped up and lost ground on their title contenders as they threw away a two goal advantage against Vorskla in front of their own fans at the Dnipro-Arena.  Yevhen Konoplyanka got Dnipro off to a wonder start as he fired a fantastic strike in to give Dnipro the lead after 15 minutes.  Amidst a goal scramble and confusion, Douglas made it two to Dnipro with a tap in from yards out from a corner.  It appeared that Juande Ramos’ side would be keeping the pressure on their title rivals at this point as they were in control of the game.  Unfortunately a blunder from Denys Boyko gave Vorskla a foothold in the game as Dedechko struck from distance.  It wasn’t until the 5th minute of stoppage time that Vorskla equalised and again it was another defensive blunder which cost Dnipro.  A freekick was whipped in and with Denys Boyko rushing out to claim, Mazuh deflected a header into his own goal.  A point rescued for Vorskla, but two points dropped for Dnipro.

Frank Dja-Djedje scored the goal of the week as Chornomorets continued their fine campaign.  It wasn’t easy as Hoverlya scored in the opening 10 minutes through Niculae.  Dja-Djedje then scored his wonderful over head kick from the edge of the box to level the scoreline.  Oleksiy Antonov grabbed the winner only a few minutes after Dja-Djedje’s strike as Chornomorets kept pressure on the leaders, closing the gap on Dnipro.

Shakhtar bounced back from a disappointing defeat in the Champions League as they took a part Zorya in a comprehensive 4:0 victory.  The damage was inflicted early in the first half as the Miners raced out of the blocks.  Taras Stepanenko opened the scoring before summer signings Bernard and Faccundo Ferreyra put the game beyond Zorya.  Shakhtar didn’t race to a rampage as they did against Arsenal earlier in the season as they only added one further goal in the second half through Ferreyra, but it was enough to pull clear of Dnipro and become the closest rivals to Metalist.

Dynamo Kyiv continued their winning streak but it was by no means an easy task as they defeated Illichivets 1:0 in Kyiv.  With the scores level heading late into the second half, Andriy Yarmolenko was given a red card for appearing to stamp on an Illichivets defender after avoiding a tackle.  It appeared this would stump Dynamo and that they wouldn’t find the breakthrough, however they were awarded a late penalty and Oleh Husyev did not waste the opportunity.

After 7 straight defeats, Metalurh Zaporizhya managed to take a point against Metalurh Donetsk.  It was a goal less draw for the two Metalurh’s as MetaDon’s indifferent season continued.

Sevastopol returned to wining ways as they came from behind to defeat Volyn 2:1.  Volyn took the lead early on throguh Schumacher’s strike from distance which was deflected into the goal.  Mariusz Lewandowski equalised for Sevastopol in the second half, but the winner wasn’t struck until stoppage time as Artur Karnoza won it for Sevastopol in the final moments.

Round 14 started with disappointment on Friday evening as Arsenal didn’t travel to Tavriya due to their continuing financial difficulties.  Tavriya will most likely be awarded a technical 3:0 victory but it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to fulfil their remaining fixtures in the UPL.

1 Metalist 13 10 3 0 28 8 33
2 Shakhtar 14 10 2 2 38 12 32
3 Dnipro 13 9 3 1 27 11 30
4 Chornomorets 14 8 4 2 15 9 28
5 Dynamo 14 8 3 3 27 15 27
6 Vorskla 14 6 6 2 22 19 24
7 Zorya 14 5 4 5 18 15 19
8 Metalurh D 14 5 3 6 18 26 18
9 Illichivets 14 5 1 8 10 14 16
10 Karpaty 14 4 4 6 13 19 16
11 Sevastopol 14 4 4 6 17 24 16
12 Hoverla 14 4 2 8 13 18 14
13 Volyn 14 3 4 7 11 22 13
14 Arsenal 13 3 1 9 10 28 10
15 Metalurh Z 14 1 4 9 14 23 7
16 Tavriya 13 1 0 12 7 25 3

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