Nagjee Cup: Dnipro deals double blow to Argentina in injury time

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, which struck those cruel blows against Argentina-23 at the Corporation Stadium on Friday night, has moved into the top of Group B, with the full six points, and moved closer to what would be a well-deserved place in the semi-finals.

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk player Denys Balaniuk (white jersey) and Gonzalo Paz of Argentina U-23 fighting for the ball   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

Things are getting more dramatic in the Mahindra & Mahindra Sait Nagjee international football tournament. Two goals were scored in the injury time today.

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, which struck those cruel blows against Argentina-23 at the Corporation Stadium on Friday night, has moved into the top of Group B, with the full six points, and moved closer to what would be a well-deserved place in the semi-finals.

The Ukrainians haven’t conceded a goal yet, even as they posted two wins from as many games. They have been mighty impressive in this competition.

Argentina, which has a big following in this region, is virtually on its way out; it hasn’t got a point, nor has it scored a goal yet. It got several opportunities to score on this night, though.

They wasted all those chances. As did Dnipro, till those dramatic last few minute.

The match had been heading for a draw, despite another excellent crowd getting plenty of entertainment; both the teams attacked relentlessly and there were good pieces of defending and goalkeeping. There were quite a few scuffles too, but it was the quality of football the crowd would remember more.

They would not forget the injury time of this match in a hurry. In the opening minute of it, the Ukrainians broke the deadlock through Vakulko; he was alert enough to convert the chance he got, following a free-kick from just outside the box that rebounded.

A shocked Argentina, which had played much of the opening half with great speed and skills, though not with enough cohesion up front, tried to hit back immediately. Most of its players were in the rival half when substitute Vitaly Kiryeyev made it 2-0 on a counter-attack; he had all the space as well as all the time in the world to beat the hapless Argentine custodian, Facundo Ferrero, who almost had a great night.

The result: Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2 (Yuri Vakulko 90+1, Vitaly Kiryeyev 90+4) bt Argentina 0.

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