The question of who has won the current soccer championship of Ukraine, which, incidentally, will finish on June 17, was in fact answered as long ago as May 23, when Shakhtar Donetsk failed to beat Dynamo in a home match. Nobody believed that Dynamo could lose the two remaining championship games. So the match against Lviv’s Karpaty was a solemn finish of Dynamo’s almost three-year-long way to the champion’s title — Dynamo last won the gold medals in 2004.
The packed grandstands of Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium had already been ready to celebrate the inevitable, in their opinion, victory of the home side. The team was also in the same mood. It would be wrong to say that the visiting squad did not want to win. Karpaty were even the first to score, when the Lviv forward Koviel profited by a mistake of the Dynamo goalie Rybka. Yet the further course of the game left no doubts as to who plays soccer better as of June 10, 2007. Dynamo players scored three times in reply: Diogo Rincon (penalty shot), Husev, and Shatskykh. The hosting team could have scored still as many, while the visiting side retreated to their goal area after they had opened the score, but they were still unable to form an impenetrable defense line.
This is almost all about the Dynamo-Karpaty match. One thing can be added: it was perhaps for the first time in many decades that there were no police at the stadium to keep the peace. It turned out that our soccer fans were not so terrible as to be guarded by truncheon-wielding cops and dogs.
This has always been obvious, but it still took a brutal beating of Dynamo fans by riot police before the eyes of this country’s leaders for common sense to prevail. Who knows, maybe, absence of the police at matches will be just the thing that can bring soccer fans back to stadiums, and the snug Dynamo stadium will again, like in the 1970s-1980s, be unable to house even a half of those wishing to see a soccer match, and the soccer feast will stage a spectacular comeback to the Olympic Stadium, Kyiv’s main sport arena, which will be filled to capacity during every game, not only Eurocup matches of the national team.
The celebration of Dynamo’s championship was organized in the best spirit of modern show business. But, either because the overwhelming emotions over the May 23 factual victory of Dynamo in the championship had cooled down or because everybody was tired of celebrations, the solemn speeches and congratulations that rang loudly throughout the evening of June 10 at the stadium and at the soiree on the occasion of Dynamo’s victory, were full of words not so much about this season’s achievements as about the next season.
The top news of this season is that Demianenko remains the club’s manager (not to be confused with club president Surkis! — B.).
It was Demianenko himself who denied all the rumors about the invitation of a new, preferably foreign) coach: it would be silly to dismiss a coach who steered the club to bagging all the national trophies. Thus the Dynamo manager won, with his hands and head, a second chance to make the team scale Ukrainian as well as European heights.
Dynamo, like in fact all the other Ukrainian premier division clubs, has almost no time to mull over changes in the team’s lineup. There is almost no break between championships in Ukraine: no sooner is the 2006-2007 season over than the 2007-2008 one starts.
As early as July 10, in Odesa, the “eternal” rivals Dynamo and Shakhtar will be competing for the national Supercup, and then there will start Ukraine’s 17th championship, from which we will again expect a higher quality of play, more interesting matches and, what is more, the competition for championship by at least three clubs, not two, as has been the case in the past ten years.