Ukraine score 3 in 5 disastrous minutes to wreck it for the Faroe Islands

October 17, 2007: UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifier, Group B:

Ukraine - Faroe Islands 5-0 (3-0)
1-0 Maxym Kalynychenko 40'
2-0 Oleh Gusev 43'
3-0 Oleh Gusev 45'
4-0 Maxym Kalynychenko 49'
5-0 Andriy Vorobey 64'

After holding Ukraine for 40 minutes, everything was wrecked in 5 disastrous last minutes of the first half as Ukraine scored three times and went on to add another two in the 2nd half.

Ukraine had their first scoring opportunity after 13 minutes when the Faroese off side trap was beaten and Serhiy Nazarenko was played through, but Faroese goalkeeper Jákup Mikkelsen made a fabulous save from the clear Nazarenko.

After this, the Ukrainians were relatively tame, although they had the ball virtually all the time. They tried with a few long range efforts, but those didn't trouble the goalkeeper.

But 5 minutes from the end of the first half, all went wrong for the Faroese team, and a realistic 0-0 at half-time was turned into 3-0 in the blink of an eye.

The first goal was scored by Maxym Kalynychenko. He received a long pass on the left wing from the midfield, cut inside the penalty area and got pas two defenders before he unleashed the shot which was deflected off a Faroes defender, and although Mikkelsen got a hand on the ball, he couldn't prevent it from going in.

3 minutes later, Ukraine doubled their lead. This goal the Faroes will archive in the "inexperience-deparment". A long diagonal ball was played into the Faroese penalty area where Einar Hansen tried to take the ball down with his chest, but his bad touch played Oleh Gusev clear and he easily put Ukraine 2-0 up.

But inexperience can't be used as an excuse for Ukraine's 3rd goal that came only a couple of minutes later. It was just poor goalkeeping, as Mikkelsen didn't hold on to an Anatoliy Tymoschuk- shot from 30 meters, and Gusev was on spot to kill the rebound.

Ukraine started the 2nd half where they had left off in the first: A couple of minutes into it, Artem Milevskiy got a flick on a cross from the left, but this time Mikkelsen made a splendid diving save to stop the ball on the line.

- But the minute after, Mikkelsen could do nothing to stop Kalynychenko's well placed header, after Artem Milevskiy had served him with a perfect cross from the right.

20 minutes into the 2nd half, Ukraine made it 5-0. The Faroese defense was outplayed by a smart back-heal from Kalynychenko to Andriy Nesmachniy on the left, who immediately put in a flat cross in front of goal where Andriy Vorobey had been forgotten by the central defenders. He had the easiest tap-in to make.

After this chances came at regular intervals, but Ukraine's ineffectiveness prevented them from scoring again. They could just as well have won 8-0 instead of "only" 5-0.

The Faroe Islands created no real scoring opportunity throughout the 90 minutes.

But why are the Faroe Islands losing so heavily time and time again? It didn't use to be this bad, did it?

No, 3 times 0-6 and 2 times 0-5; it hasn't been that bad before. But it must be taken into consideration that this qualifying group is made of pure dynamite. Italy (World Champions), France (runners up), Ukraine (world cup quarter finalists) and Scotland (no. 14 on FIFA's ranking-list). It doesn't really need more to explain some of the results. – However, the Faroe Islands also lost 0-6 to Georgia, so not everything can be explained with the dynamite.

Yes, it's a cliché, but there has also been a lot of just bad luck with missing players through injuries and other circumstances.

Let's take today's defense for example. The defense was completely new and had no experience what so ever. Left back Einar Hansen had been capped 1 time (debuted against France on Saturday). Central defender Óli Hansen played his 2nd match today (played a friendly 3 years ago). Right back Johan Troest Davidsen also debuted today. That's two matches in total for 3 of the back 4.

In midfield, the creative midfielder Súni Olsen was missing through suspension. He is one of the few Faroese players who play abroad (AaB Aalborg, Denmark). And after only 8 minutes, central midfielder Mikkjal Thomassen had to be substituted because of injury and was replaced by Tem Hansen who has only come on once before for the Faroe Islands.

With such an inexperienced team, any team would get into troubles.

Even England have difficulties coping if 1 or 2 key players are missing. And when key players are missing for the Faroes Islands, you can multiply the effect with the factor of 10!

Maybe this explains some of the whipping the Faroes have received lately…

But on November 21, the Faroe Islands visit World Champions Italy in the last match of this Euro 08 qualifying campaign, and once again, the Faroese players will expect 3 points … :-)

See standing here.

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