Dynamo Kyiv's U19s Become The First Ukrainian Side To Play A Competitive Match Since The Start Of The Russian Invasion
Dynamo Kyiv's U19 team have become the first Ukrainian side to play a competitive match of football since Russia invaded the country.
They took on Sporting Lisbon in the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League in Bucharest on Thursday.
Professional football in Ukraine has been indefinitely suspended since Russia invaded its neighbour in late February.
Dynamo Kyiv’s U19 side were the only Ukrainian team left in UEFA competition this season and they were finally able to play their match against Sporting on Thursday, losing 2-1.
The game was originally set to be played in Kyiv on March 2 but Sporting were understandably reluctant to travel to Ukraine for the match.
Instead, Dynamo’s players moved to Romania in March after UEFA agreed to postpone the game until a later date, with the owner of Romanian club FCSB, Gigi Becali, providing the squad with accommodation and training facilities.
The match was eventually able to take place this week at the Stadionul Rapid-Giulesti, the home of Romanian side Rapid.
Dynamo’s players wrapped themselves in the Ukrainian flag as they walked onto the pitch for the match.
A minute of silence was then held before kick-off to honour those who have lose their lives in the brutal conflict in Ukraine.
Sporting would take a 2-0 lead inside the opening half an hour, with both goals coming from Diogo Cabral.
Dynamo’s Volodymyr Brazhko then pulled one back from the penalty spot before half-time.
However, Dynamo were unable to find an equaliser after the break, with Sporting progressing to the quarter-finals where they will face Portuguese rivals Benfica.
Dynamo Kyiv’s senior side are set to play friendlies against Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain as part of a fundraising tour for the victims of the war in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian champions will also face Borussia Dortmund, Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Ajax during the tour between April and June.
Featured Image Credit: UEFA & Sporting Lisbon