Friday, June 7, 2013

Ukraine 4 - Montenegro 0; Moldova 1 - Poland 1

The city of Chisinau welcomed Poland to town as they took on home side Moldova.  Poland wasted little time settling themselves in the early going.  A ball played to Robert Lewandowski was dribbled quite a ways up the field before Lewandowski unleashed a long-distance rolling through ball the was met by the sprinting run of Jakub Blaszczykowski, who then finished with his first touch.  The two players are quite familiar with one another, as both play together for Borussia Dortmund.  Poland were made to pay for at turnover at midfield thirty minutes after their opening goal.  After a clumsy breakaway off the turnover, Vitalie Bordian smashed a ball across the box intending to reach a player much farther away, but Eugeniu Sidorenco took the hard pass from close range and then finished into the upper ninety near post for his first international goal.  A couple minutes later, Bordian fired from long range, and a soft rebound nearly lead to Moldova's second goal before a sliding clearance by Bartosz Salamon beat the attacker to the ball.

A fog rolled over the pitch for the second half, and the weather conditions seemed to sap most of the energy from the match.  Poland were the only team to produce any scoring opportunities in the second forty-five, but none would come to fruition.  The match ends 1-1.

The Podgorica faithful were expecting Montenegro to extend their lead atop Group H as Ukraine paid a visit.  The first half gave the faithful their money's worth as the action was back and forth.  Mirko Vucinic (pictured, red) hit the woodwork for Montenegro.  Andriy Pyatov in goal for Ukraine made many keys stops in the opening period.  Ukraine nearly had an opener themselves, but Andriy Yarmolenko hit the woodwork instead of the back of the net.  In stoppage time, Roman Zozulia was given a red card after unsportsmanlike aggression toward Vladimir Bozovic, leaving Ukraine a man down for the second half after a scoreless opening period.

Yarmolenko hit a hopeful ball from long distance, but a tough short hop led to a long rebound which was collected by Denys Garmash.  Garmash dribbled away from the goalkeeper and found a shot to the far post which hit the far post and crossed the line to give ten-man Ukraine a surprising lead.  Montenegro's attempt at a comeback were de-railed as Vladimir Volkov idiotically took a frustration foul for a second yellow card and was ejected in minute 66.  A giveaway at midfield allowed Ukraine to attack four-versus-four on the break.  Yarmolenko ended up with the ball wide to the right, from where he laid a ball into the box for Yevhen Konoplyanka, who scored to make it 2-0 to Ukraine.  Savo Pavicevic was ejected for his second yellow in minute 79, leaving Montenegro down two goals and down to nine men.  A mishit cross by Artem Fedetskiy found its way into the Montenegrin net for a 3-0 lead to Ukraine with five minutes to go.  In stoppage time, Ukraine added to the misery with a fourth goal.  Roman Bezus took a through ball and ran approximately thirty yards across an unmotivated defense before chipping across his body to beat the goalkeeper.  Ukraine win 4-0.  The result eliminates idle San Marino from Brasil 2014 and tightens the race atop Group H considerably.

Montenegro 14 pts +7
England 12 pts +18
Ukraine 11 pts +6
Poland 9 pts +5
Moldova 5 pts -7
San Marino OUT

Jakub Blaszczykowski 6

Eugeniu Sidorenco 36

Denys Garmash 52
Yevhen Konoplyanka 77
Artem Fedetskiy 85
Roman Bezus 90+2

Match Reports:

Highlights: (Moldova v. Poland) (Ukraine v. Montenegro)

Full Match Video: (Moldova v. Poland)

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