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Aghaowa Sent Off Because Of Brawl

REPORT Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Polihraftehnika 1

Saturday 21st July 2001

Shakhtar Donetsk went top of the table in Ukraine with a 2-1 win over newly-promoted Polihraftekhnika, but it was a far from convincing performance, and the over-riding memory of the game will be of the disgraceful brawl in the final minutes that saw a player from each side sent off.

Yet Shakhtar began brightly, and almost took the lead on ten minutes, only for Polihraftekhnika keeper Taras Chopyk to keep out Julius Aghahowa's header with a sharp save.

Two minutes later the Miners did take the lead, Marian Aliuta slipping the ball through for Andriy Vorobey, who finished with deathly cool.

Anatoliy Timoschuk went close with a ferocious long-range effort just after the quarter-hour, but then Shakhtar seemed to lose momentum, and the game began its ugly slide into violence.

Senegalese import Assan Ndiaie was the man who began it all, and he was fortunate only to be booked his brutal challenge on the visitors' experienced newcomer Volodymyr Sharan, who had to be substituted.

Yet Polihraftekhnika came more into the game as the half wore on, and twice only the offside flag denied them an equaliser.

Shakhtar, though, were the more impressive after the break, and Chopyk was twice called into meaningful action to deny Timoschuk and Aghahowa. It was the visitors, however, who grabbed the second goal. Twice Ivanov got behind the Shakhtar back-line, and on the second occasion he was hauled down in the box. Chuichenko converted from the spot.

Andrey Konyushenko and Oleksiy Bielyk were introduced just after the hour, and that was the signal for a cavalry charge on the Polihrafteknika goal. Not until the 80th minute were they successful, though, as Aghahowa fired home Vorobey's fine ball.

But Aghahowa was quickly to become the villain as he was sent off along with Pervak for their part in a mass-brawl in the dying seconds, sparked by the last in a series of gruesome challenges on the Nigerian.

Shakhtar: Virt, Starostiak, Tymoshchuk, Aliuta, Bakharev (Koniushenko 64), Zubov, Vorobey, Assan, Aghahowa, Lewandowski (Bielyk 64), Okoronkwo

Polihraftekhnika: Chopyk, Tanasiuk, Mokrytskyi, Mishkov, Zub, Pervak, Danchenko (Khomutov 54), Zhylin, Sharan (Plotko 21), Chuichenko (Sobol 80), Ivanov

Booked: Assan, Lewandowski (Shakhtar); Plotko, Zub, Chopyk, Khomutov (Polihrafteknika)

Sent off: Aghahowa (Shakhtar); Pervak (Polihrafteknika)

Referee: Kutsev