Ivan Odessa find form at last
Sunday, 24 June 2007
Ticino AMA 0-1 Ivan Odessa AMA Ivan Odessa of Ukraine ensured they ended the UEFA Regions' Cup with points on the board after an impressive win.
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Ivan Odessa AMA of Ukraine ensured they ended the UEFA Regions' Cup with points on the board with an impressive win against Switzerland's Ticino AMA.
While at kick-off Ticino still had a chance of reaching the final, Ivan Odessa had lost both their previous Group B games to Dolnoslaski AMA and Aveiro AMA and were out of contention. But Oleg Voynikov's goal midway through the first half proved sufficient to take the Ukrainian side above their opponents to finish third in the group.
Playing for pride
A phone call before the game from Football Federation of Ukraine president Grigoriy Surkis urging Ivan Odessa to ensure some national pride seemed to do the trick as they shocked Ticino with their determined performance. Mykola Vitvitskiy's powerful early free-kick hit the bar and the goal-line before bouncing out, but ten minutes later Serhiy Kucherenko's cross from the left was headed in by the leaping Voynikov. Kucherenko nearly had a goal of his own soon after but Ticino goalkeeper Mitko Petrov saved spectacularly.
The second half followed the same pattern, Yuriy Syvoborodko coming agonisingly close to making it 2-0 on 51 minutes only to miss from close range. Ivan Odessa threatened again when Kucherenko's shot was blocked by a defender, Volodymyr Egorov hit the post with the follow-up and Voynikov was unable to turn in the rebound. Ticino were rarely able to trouble Maksim Malyita in the Ivan Odessa goal, other than a late Nicola Gianutti header, and their Matchday 1 victory against Aveiro remains the highlight of their tournament.