Portuguese football. Second date
In Its first ever start in the UEFA Cup in the 1984-85 season, Dinamo has passed three stages of the tournament, giving way to the ¼ finals "Željeznicar" (Sarajevo). As in this season - Dinamo played the first matches with a team from Finland - HJK Helsinki (Helsinki). The next opponent of Minsk, as now, was the team of Portugal. After 30 years history repeats?
Experienced fans remember with pleasure that match with 16-times Portugal champion and UEFA Cup - 1964 winner – Sporting Lisbon. We asked Dinamo goalkeeper from 1980-s – Ivan Zhekiu - to recall these memorable matches!
Ivan Zhekiu, born on 19.07.1957 in Belyaevka, Odessa region, Ukraine.
Played for Chernomorets Odessa, SKA Odessa.
Dinamo Minsk player in 1984-1986, took part in 97 matches in USSR Championship and USSR Cup, and in 10 matches of UEFA Cup.
In the second leg of 1/16 round of the UEFA Cup 1984/85 Dinamo Minsk – Sporting Libon – 2:0, on Dinamo stadium in Minsk, November 7, 1984, Ivan saved the team in the penalty shootouts and helped Dinamo to reach the 1/8 round!
- Ivan Grigoryevich, did you feel any trembling before the game? You were to play with a tough team, which was well-known and respected in Europe?
- I must say that before the game with Sporting, the USSR national team played an UEFA Euro qualifying match against Portugal national team and lost 0:1, and there were several players from that team, who played for Sporting. But, you know, that year Dinamo was on the rise and it was no matter whom to play with. We had a great set of players. We were in great moral, psychological and functional conditions. By that time Dinamo had travelled a lot across the Europe, many of our players were playing for national teams, so matches on such a level were not a surprise for us. Yes, we had little information about the opponent. It wasn’t easy to send a scout by different reasons. Nowadays it s not a big deal to get information about any team, but that time we could only find a VHS cassette with a game on it. But we had a coach – Arzamastsev! And we were very self-confident, and before the game with Sporting we had a good run of 16 games without losing in USSR Championship! After the away game with Sporting we should play a Cup game against Chernomorets in 3 days. There was no difference whom to play with. There was just additional responsibility in international matches – we also played for our country.
- Now we came close to that matches between Dinamo and Sporting. These matches are still remembered by fans as one of the examples of the incredible game style of Dinamo in mid 80-s.
- We were nicely welcomed in Portugal, they treated us well. The overcrowded stadium was one of the surprises – 70.000 supporters! An ideal pitch. High humidity. The first goal we goal we actually scored by ourselves. Seryoga Borovski… (smiling).
The sports weekly «Football-Hockey» wrote about the match:
The beginning of the second half brought a disappointment to Dinamo. Breaking the Sporting attack, the teams’ captain Sergey Borovski in a non-critical situation scored an own goal. The home team suddenly took the lead. To Dinamo honor, they didn’t wave, and didn't change the game in the defense, but unfortunately, in the attack as well. Dinao failed to show its quick-style game with the flanks shifting. Sporting, though, didn’t show its best game as well, and they brought on the Brazilian forward Eldon instead of Jordao, who was not in the best conditions. The game becomes tough and harsh. Yanushevski and, some later, Gotsmanov received yellow cards. Portuguese team allowed fewer mistakes and looked technically preferably:tThe strikers acted more actively, the midfielders leaded the game. Pacheco played as a playmaker and a lot of attacks were built by him.
The second goal was on our account as well. But this actually helped us because after the first match Portuguese were too relaxed and thought that two home goals would be enough to reach the next round. And this what provoked us. At that time we could put at their place any opponent. We showed not a bad game in Portugal, you always feel when you play good or bad. And then came back to the hotel and saw on TV the interviews of Sporting players, where they told that two goals would be enough to pass Dinamo. Ugh, that stirred us up! We returned back home and in three days we had a game against Odessa team, and that was a special game for me, as Chernomorets was my previous team. I should say that on the field we stood for each other. So we won that game and calmly started preparation for the home match against Sporting. And we won! The shouting crowd at the stadium helped us a lot, the stadium was overcrowded, anywhere in the city we were cheered up, everyone wished us good luck. This support is 50% your success. We lack it a lot this times. In that game we scored an early goal and played confidently. I knew that my teammates would score sooner or later; I just should keep the goal safe. And I managed!
From the review in «Football-Hockey» weekly:
Dinamo Minsk players normally don’t look emotionally. The mass scenes of wild delight because of the goal – are not their style. But this time they didn’t resist…
The Sporting coaches were stunned. For sure they didn’t expect such a result. But they acted with dignity. Toshack didn’t blame his players. He believes there were moments when the game was equal and in some moments they even looked better, but the team from Minsk played so quickly from the very beginning, that the players from Lisbon couldn't keep up with this speed.
Pale after such emotions Arzamastsev noted an utmost concentration of Dinamo team. There was no need in substitutions during this hard game.
- After the first half I just asked the boys to play with all the strength and support one another. They understood me.
What was the value of the victory? We made ourselves known and respected. Later we passed Widziew form Poland and occasionally lost to Zeljeznicar. We played well in Yugoslavia. But the home match – that was a strategic mistake. They wanted to play in Minsk, but we should better play in Tbilisi. They started to drain the pith, but didn’t do that properly. We scored an early goal and were going to score more, but I missed an easy goal. In 15-20 minutes the legs started to stick in the mud. It seemed that the pitch was all fine, but in real it was like a swamp. For our speedy Gotsmanov and Sokol – that was like their legs were tied up. We lowered the tempo, because it was very hard to play on such a pitch, we were exhausted. We would play much better on dry pitch, a very painful defeat…
Now our teams Dinamo, BATE lack self-confidence, feeling that they are better. On that game, though we had lost 0:2, we knew that we were better than Sporting. What is the difference between this Dinamo and that? self-confidence! It was no matter whom we played with at home – we had to won. We played only for victory, because we were confident. To win away game with Spartak, Dinamo Kyiv, Zenit, Ararat – was tough, but we did that. That's worth a lot. There were some cities, where it was almost impossible to get some points – Dinamo came and did that! That what confidence means. I wish it to today’s team. Though the level of Belarusian championship is lower, nonetheless. Our team must be the champion. The image of the club was damaged recently…
I am really happy that now Dinamo tries to reach the former heights and gets an experience in international matches.
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