No surprises as the Faroe Islands lose by two goals to Ukraine
March 24, 2007: UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifier, Group B:
Faroe Islands – Ukraine 0-2 (0-1)
1-0 Volodymyr Yezerskiy 20'
2-0 Oleh Gusev 58'
The talking point ahead of the match between the Faroe Islands and Ukraine had been if the match would take place at all or if it wood be postponed until August, because the pitch was in horrific condition and not deemed playable by neither the Faroese Soccer Association nor their Ukrainian counterpart.
But UEFA had sent an inspector and he gave the all-clear for the match to take place.
12 minutes into the match, the Ukrainians tested the Faroese goal for the first time. The Faroese defense headed away a cross from the right, but only to Andriy Voronin who took a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen made a good save and tipped the ball over the bar.
From the following corner, Mikkelsen had to make an even better save, when Taras Mikhalik's header was destined to go straight into the top left corner, but Mikkelsen came flying and averted the goal.
Photo above: Faroese goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen saves header from Taras Mikhalik destined into the top corner.
On 19 minutes, Olexiy Bielik went close when he connected with a cross from the left, but his volley from just outside the goal area went just wide of the left post.
But just a couple of minutes later, Ukraine took the lead. A free kick just outside the center-circle was knocked behind the Faroese defense, where Volodymyr Yezerskiy, who had escaped his sleeping marker, received the ball in the goal area, and he had the simplest of tasks to put Ukraine one up.
10 minutes from the break, Ukraine nearly doubled their lead, but Olexiy Bielik's free header, after a cross from the right, went over the goal.
4 minutes before the break, Jákup Mikkelsen had to make a diving save to prevent Óli Johannesen from making an embarrassing owngoal.
In stoppage-time, the Faroe Islands had their only scoring opportunity of the entire match, when Jákup á Borg found Christian Høgni Jacobsen in the penalty area, and he turned and drove a powerful low shot half a meter wide of goal.
If the first half had been uninteresting, the second was totally boring!
The Faroes weren't able to threaten the Ukrainian team at all, and the Ukrainians seemed quite happy to just play the ball around and keep it safe and make sure they kept their 3 points. Well, if there ever was any doubt, Ukraine made the points secure when they scored 12 minutes into the second half.
A cross from the left ended at the far post where it was headed downward, where Oleh Gusev was quick to react and poked the ball into the far side of the goal for a 2-0 lead to Ukraine.
Photo above: Ukranian supporter stripped to the waist, celebrating his country's victory. - In Faroese language, the phenomenon celebrating something stripped to the waist is called "yvirkroppaball" (stripped-to-the-waist-party).
After that, Ukraine relaxed and the Faroe Islands weren't able to create anything.
Photo on right: Andriy Shevchenko was not in the Ukrainian team because of injuy, but we found a replica of him in the stands...
This was the Faroe Islands 5th consecutive qualifier without scoring. If we also count in the friendly game against Poland in May 2006, the Faroes haven't scored in 6 internationals in a row. That's 540 minutes. – That's boring for spectators!
On Wednesday, March 28th, the Faroe Islands play away to Georgia, who won 6-0 in the Faroe Islands last August.
See standing here.