Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Ukraine: Shakhtar’s derby win seals sixth title

Posted in European Football by peterbein on May 7, 2011
Shakhtar Donetsk fans

Shakhtar fans can celebrate yet another championship

Shakhtar Donetsk put their recent defeat at the hands of Dynamo Kyiv behind them to finally seal their sixth championship crown. The Miners played local rivals Metalurh Donetsk in the local derby at their home Donbass Arena on Saturday and came out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Luiz Adriano and Dario Srna. The victory puts Shakhtar eight points clear at the top of the standings with just two games to play.

The home side were frustrated in the first half by their neighbours who played a solid defensive game until the first goal came two minutes into first half stoppage time. Luiz Adriano, one of Shakhtar’s significant Brazilian contingent, sneaked into the box and was left unmarked six yards from goal to poke the ball home. The second half was played in much the same vain, the home side having to wait until five minutes from time before they sealed the three points. The goal came from a Dario Srna free-kick which was beautifully struck 30 metres from goal. This triggered wild celebrations in the crowd and allowed the club from the far east of the country to revel in a second consecutive championship title at the expense of traditional heavyweights Dynamo.

Shakhtar (played 28, points 70) can not be caught so Dynamo must now be content with second place as they, in turn, are a distant nine points ahead of third place Dnipro Dnipopetrovsk. Metalurh Donetsk lie in 11th place in the sixteen team Premier League but are comfortably placed in the table to avoid relegation.

Europe: Big kick-off in Croatia, Romania and Moldova; Leagues Round-Up

Posted in European Football by peterbein on July 25, 2010
Dinamo Zagreb fans

Fans of Dinamo Zagreb had plenty to celebrate on the opening day of the new Prva Liga season

The league championships of Croatia, Romania and Moldova kicked off this weekend whilst some countries league championships are a couple of weeks old now. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the best of the recent action across Europe.

Croatia’s Prva Liga saw the big two, Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split, record big victories this weekend and, thus, began the new season in their usual place at the top of the table. Champions Dinamo easily saw off the challenge of newly-promoted Hrvatski Dragovoljac 4-1 with all the goals coming in the first forty-five minutes. Cup holders Hajduk did better beating NK Istra 6-1 with brothers Anas and Ahmad Sharbini both getting on the scoresheet.

In Romania both defending champions CFR Cluj and their rivals Unirea Urziceni could only muster goalless draws away at Universitatea Craiova and Pandurii Târgu Jiu respectively. This left the door open for three clubs from the capital Bucharest to go above them with Rapid, Dinamo and Steaua among the early pacesetters beating FC Vaslui, FC Astra and Universitea Cluj respectively.

In Moldova champions FC Sheriff Tiraspol have set the ball rolling for another anticipated season of dominance with an easy 3-0 home win against local rivals FC Tiraspol with all the goals coming in the second half. Zimbru Chişinău, who were the dominant force in Moldovan football until FC Sheriff began their run of success, also won their opening match by three goals to nil against FC Sfintul Gheorghe.

The Ukrainian Premier League is three matches old now and the only team with a prefect 100% record is FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk preserving this record with a 5-1 rout of FC Illichivets Mariupol thanks in part to Yevhen Seleznyov who scored a hat-trick. The big two of Dynamo Kyiv and champions Shakhtar Donetsk are still unbeaten after victories this weekend against Metalist Kharkiv and FC Zorya Luhansk respectively kept them two points off the summit. Arsenal Kyiv lost their 100% record this weekend going down to a 1-0 home defeat against PFC Sevastopol.

In Switzerland defending champions FC Basel have set the tone after two games after their 2-1 win over FC Sion ensured that they were the only team with a 100% record.

In neighbouring Austria Sturm Graz, Wiener Neustadt and Austria Wien also have perfect starts to the season after two matches beating FC Kapfenberg, Rapid Wien and LASK Linz respectively on matchday two of the new Bundesliga season.

Europe: Honours won at the start of the business end of season (+video)

Posted in European Football by peterbein on May 6, 2010
Coppa Italia

Internazionale secured the first part of a possible treble when beating AS Roma in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday

May is the month when most of Europe’s domestic championships and cup competitions are handed out. With this week signifying the business end of the season “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” looks at some of the titles that have been won in Europe in the last few days.

Internazionale FC are hoping to win a treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League under charismatic coach Jose Mourinho this season and the Nerazzurri achieved the first part of potential history by beating AS Roma 1-0 in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday. Argentine striker Diego Milito scored the only goal after 39 minutes to give his club a psychological edge over the Roman side who are Inter’s only challengers with two games to go in the Italian championship. Check out the goal and the coach’s understated celebration to it here:

In other showpiece cup finals throughout Europe Trabzonspor secured their first domestic honour since 2004 when winning the Turkish Cup against favourites Fenerbahçe on Wednesday. “Fener”, who currently lead the way in the Turkish Süper Lig, took the lead ten minutes into the second half with a goal from Brazilian attacking midfielder Alex but Trabzonspor came back in fine style scoring three times in the last twenty five minutes. Umut restored parity after 66 minutes and Engin gave them the lead with ten minutes to go. Gustavo Colman secured the victory four minutes into stoppage time to send the Trabzonspor fans into ecstasy. In Croatia Hajduk Split strolled to victory over two legs in the Croatian Cup final against HNK Šibenik winning 4-1 on aggregate. Hajduk had narrowly won 2-1 in the first leg but made things easier for themselves in the return fixture with goals from Ante Vukušić and Senijad Ibričić to give Hajduk their fifth cup success in post-independence Croatia. Next door in Serbia Crvena Zvezda secured the first part of a possible double when defeating Vojvodina Novi Sad 3-0 in Partizan Stadium, Belgrade. Goals from Aleksandar Jevtić, Kadu and Miloš Trifunović gave the Red Star an easy win and they will hope to overturn arch-rivals Partizan in the league with three games remaining.

In Bulgaria PFC Beroe Stara Zagora secured their maiden triumph in the domestic cup thanks to a stoppage time winner from Doncho Atanasov in their 1-0 victory over Chernomorets Pomorie. On Thursday night the Dutch Cup final was won overwhelmingly by Ajax Amsterdam who have gone a little way towards making up for their narrow defeat in the Eredivisie title race to FC Twente by heavily beating their arch-rivals Feyenoord Rotterdam. Normally the Dutch Cup final is a one leg affair played at Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium but was switched to a two-legged contest with no away fans allowed in either game due to the volatile nature of this fixture. In any case Martin Jol saw his Ajax team win comfortably with a 6-1 aggregate win with the first leg a fortnight ago finishing 2-0 and the return game in Rotterdam ending up 4-1. Watch the goals from the second leg here:

Three league championship titles were also decided on Wednesday with success being honoured in France, Denmark and Ukraine. Olympique Marseille, who had gone 17 years without success before this season, added the league championship trophy to their Coupe de la Ligue triumph from earlier in the season. A 3-1 home win against Stade Rennais gave l’OM an eight point cushion at the top of the table with two games to play. Gabriel Heinze got the ball rolling after just four minutes with a free-kick driven low into the bottom corner but the visitors were hoping to spoil the party and duly equalized eight minutes before the break thanks to a Jimmy Briand header. Captain Mamadou Niang restored the lead for Marseille with fifteen minutes remaining. Just sixty seconds later the title was secure when Lucho González’s long-range strike gave Olympique Marseille a 3-1 win and an insurmountable lead in Ligue 1. In Denmark FC København won their eighth SAS Superliga since their formation in 1992 with an easy 4-0 win away at bottom club HB Køge to increase their lead over second place Odense Boldklub to twelve points with three matches remaining. Finally Shakhtar Donetsk won their fifth Ukrainian Premier League title when defeating nearest challengers Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 at home thanks to Ilsinho’s 15th minute strike. The victory has given the Miners a six point lead with one match to play. See the winning goal here: