Having lost its match in the second round of the First Mini-Football Military Championship of Khmelnytskyi, Phoenix managed to save face. The audience saw Phoenix's same good spectacular combination play, yet there were two factors that prevented the team from leaving the field as winners today.
The first one was the exuberant vibe of the FC Adrenaline players with excellent discipline in their defensive play in the first place. Despite the territorial advantage, the violets' attempts to use it fell flat. The opponent's compact and intense defense proved too much for us this evening: due to the low realization of our chances in the first place.
That was factor 2. It's hard to remember when Phoenix had previously shown such an unconvincing game in the final stage of attacks. Slightly more than 30% of the shots on goal only were accurate. One out of five close-range shots hit the goal, while only a third of the midrange shots turned out to be successful. Phoenix did create chances, making use of set pieces, among other things, the ball would not go into the goal, though.
The game was relatively equal and closer to the equator of the second half there was a feeling that everything would be solved by one goal scored in any of the goals. 10 minutes before the end of the match Volodymyr Shanin showed cunning play in front of the net to open the scoring and make the task even more complicated for Phoenix.
Phoenix started using five outfield players, and looked very good, controlling the ball and creating chances, but, again, was very inaccurate in their implementation. Nevertheless, the team was able to recoup after Danylo Boldyzhev's great midrange shot.
1:1 would probably have been a natural outcome of the match, but the violets still wanted to snatch victory. The opposite happened, though. Two minutes before the end of the match, FC Adrenaline keeper Dmytro Holovaty sent the ball into Phoenix's empty net with an accurate shot.
With that, there's nothing to reproach our boys with. They showed a good level of play, physically the team was no weaker than the opponent, and the scope of work that the guys covered on the pitch was quite big. Three players at once - Khodatsky, Boldyzhev, and Konkov performed more than 100 technical and tactical actions during the match, the indicator exceeding 150 for the first two.
With its performance Phoenix made happy the fans, for whom an open live broadcast was held for the first time today: anyone could follow (previously, broadcasts were only available at closed links). A special thank you should be said to the fans, by the way. To the Kharkiv 'diaspora' in the first place: having learned that a team from their home city was playing in a local tournament, they came to support us. And, of course, a special thanks goes to the family from a district in Kharkiv called Pyatykhatki - the guys managed to create a beautiful banner saying 'Phoenix is the Champion!'
Today's defeat immediately shifted our team from the top of the table to fifth place. The real struggle in the group is still ahead, though. We are sure, the boys will do everything to turn the statement on their fans' banner into reality.