Nagjee Cup: Impressive start by Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk is named after River Dnieper of Ukraine. Little wonder perhaps its men prefer to play football of the flowing kind.

Vitaliy Kiryeyev of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) score the second goal for his team in Nagjee International Club Footbal in corporation stadium in Kozhikode   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk is named after River Dnieper of Ukraine. Little wonder perhaps its men prefer to play football of the flowing kind.

They did that for most parts of the game at the Corporation Stadium on Monday night to beat Shamrock Rovers of Ireland 2-0. It certainly was an impressive debut in the tournament, and in India, by them.

In front of another enthusiastic crowd, the Ukrainians played like a well-oiled machine. They got their passes right, attacked relentlessly and had the opening half in total control.

The team led at the interval through a 32nd minute goal from the promising Vladyslav Kochergin, who played a key role in many of his team’s moves. The 19-year-old’s powerful strike — following a fine pass down the right by Denys Balaniuk — from just outside the box was good enough to beat the defence and a stretching Craig Hyland under the bar. He was a most deserving Man-of-the-Match.

The Irish men almost looked a different side when they came back after the break, as they upped the tempo, making some quick raids into Dnipro’s box. But, to their credit, the Ukrainians, even as they tightened their defence, continued to press forward.

In the 76th minute, they virtually shut the match down with their second goal. It came off a splendid move initiated on the right flank by Ihor Kohut, who gave a deft pass to Yuri Vakulko. Vitaliy Kiryeyev, who had come in for Balaniuk just a few minutes earlier, finished off the move with great precision.

Result: Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Vladyslav Kochergin 32, Vitaliy Kiryeyev 76) 2 bt Shamrock Rovers 0.

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