THURSDAY 21ST AUGUST
EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF – FIRST LEG
ZOYRA LUHANSK 1 – 1 FEYENOORD
Feyenoord disappoint in Europe once again as they head back De Kuip with a 1-1 draw in what could be Jordy Clasie’s last game for the club. Maksim Beliy gave Zorya the lead with a deflected free kick before te Vrede levelled in the 37th minute in an uneventful game in Ukraine reports Ryan O’Grady.
Feyenoord came into this game off the back of a slightly disappointing draw with Heerenveen at home, whilst opponents Zorya were coming into this game in 7th in their domestic league. This game was not only important for Feyenoord but for Dutch football in general, if you look at the UEFA country coefficients then you’ll notice that Ukraine lie in eighth just ahead of the Netherlands in ninth, so a win for Feyenoord could benefit all Dutch teams who qualify for Europe in the future.
The game kicked off very slowly with the first shot on target coming in the 21st minute. Before that there were barely any half chances, with only a couple of note, one was te Vrede running clear before over-running the ball and the second occurred when Vilhena slid in to get a touch on a cross from Schaken but it went well over. Then in the 21st came the first real chance, Chaykovskiy was booked for a challenge on Kongolo where he swung for the ball but Kongolo manages to knock it past him before he was brought down. Clasie stepped up to take the free kick and it looked like it was heading into the top corner before Shevchenko, the Zorya keeper, made a really good save and pushed it out for a corner which came to nothing. The reply from Zorya came in the 27th minute when they won a free kick on the edge of the box, Khomchenovskiy touched it to Maksim Beliy before he fired a low ball in that gained a deflection and went into the bottom corner leaving Mulder with no chance and brought out an eccentric celebration from Vernydub, the Zorya coach. This brought a short period of pressure from the home side, with another free kick 3 minutes later that Ignjatijević put just wide. Then in the 32nd minute Feyenoord replied with a shot from Vilhena on the edge of the box that was blocked by the goalscorer Beliy. This was followed by the Feyenoord equaliser, Wilkshire controlled a cross-field ball before he sent in a cross that beat three defenders before Mitchell te Vrede tapped it in from close range, the Zorya centre-back should’ve have positioned himself better so he could’ve cut out the cross. The half was then finished off by a long-range effort from Clasie into the bottom corner of the net but was saved by Shevchenko.
During half time a substitution was made by Zorya, Maksim Malyshev had to come off after sustaining a head injury in the first half and was replaced by Oleksandr Grytsay. The start of the second half was almost identical to the first half with nothing happening at either end where up until the 59th minute the only event of note was Kongolo getting booked for a challenge on Karavayev. In the 59th minute van Beek fouled striker Budkivskiy who was Zorya’s most useful player on the night. The free kick was taken by Malinovskiy and was headed for the top corner on the near side of the goal but it was well saved by Mulder. Almost immediately after this shot came two golden oppurtunities for Zorya, first Budkivskiy received the ball in the box with far too much space around him but his was shot was palmed away by Mulder only for Karavaev to try and follow it up but at the crucial moment he was tackled brilliantly by captain Jordy Clasie This was followed by a substitution from Feyenoord coach, Frank Rutten, who took off Boëtius, who has clearly not been performing at his best recently, and brought on new signing Basaçikoglu, who had no impact whatsoever. In the 67th minute Khomchenovskiy was one-on-one with the keeper but Mulder came out well and saved the shot easily. Then Jordy Clasie had to come off because he had been struggling with cramp since his brilliant last-ditch tackle 10 minutes earlier and was replaced by Vormer. Another eventless few minutes passed by ended only by a brilliant chance for Lex Immers. Substitute Vormer sent in a cross onto which Lex Immers ran onto right in front of goal before unbelievably putting it over, he was under pressure from Chaykovskiy and arguably had a penalty claim for his challenge but he still should have put the ball away. This was followed immediately by a Zorya counter attack where they themselves were unlucky not receive a penalty after a van Beek challenge. In the 89th minute came the best chance yet for Feyenoord, Schaken ran down the line before putting in a lofted cross that was met at the far post by Vilhena but he inexplicably put it wide and to use a common footballing phrase ‘it seemed easier to score than miss’. He appeared to try and place the header rather than just heading it down which almost certainly would’ve resulted in a goal and the win for Feyenoord. However the Feyenoord performance as a whole was poor and they didn’t deserve the win.
ZORYA: Shevchenko, Kamenyuka, Beliy, Ignjatijevic, Pysko, Karavayev, Chaykovsky, Malyshev (Gritsay 47), Khomchenovskiy, Segbefia (Malinovsky 57), Budkovskiy.
SUBS NOT USED: Santini, Khudzik, Yarmash, Ljubenovic, Pylyavskyi.
GOALS: Beliy 27.
BOOKINGS: Chaykovskiy 21.
FEYENOORD: Mulder, Wilkshire (Karsdorp 83), Van Beek, Mathijsen, Kongolo, Clasie (Vormer 73), Immers, Vilhena, Schaken, Te Vrede, Boëtius (Basacikoglu 63).
SUBS NOT USED: Hahn, Nelom, Steenvoorden, Manu.
GOALS: Te Vrede 38.
BOOKINGS: Boëtius 29, Kongolo 55.
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