Metalist 2-0 Sampdoria: Unmotivated Blucerchiati Say Bye-Bye to Europe (UEFA Cup Round of 32, 2nd Leg)

Metalist players celebrate after scoring a goal against Sampdoria during their UEFA Cup soccer match in Kharkiv February 26, 2009.  (REUTERS)

Motivation. A determining factor in sports games, and one that can often turn the tide of insurmountable odds in your favor. A factor that was also completely absent from the minds of Sampdoria‘s players Wednesday, as they travelled to Ukraine’s Metalist in the hopes of overturning a 0-1 first leg deficit.

Indeed by taking a look at the team sheets right before even the match had started, it was very clear Mazzarri & friends had travelled to Kharkiv primarily out of fairplay: Cassano, Palombo, and Delvecchio had all stayed in Genoa, with only the latter on the injury list. With the incumbent match against Milan this week-end and next week’s Coppa Italia fixture vs. Inter, something’s gotta give: the UEFA Cup evidently, wasn’t high on the Blucerchiati priority list this year.

UEFA Cup 2008-09 - Metalist vs. Sampdoria

Uefa Cup 2008-09 - Round of 32, Second Leg - Metalist 2-0 Sampdoria

Tactically, with a good part of his starters absent or on the bench, Mazzarri decided to give some European experience to Guido Marilungo, fresh from being elected Torneo di Viareggio‘s player of the tournament. And the Primavera kid showed some interesting bits of play, making full use of his speed to take Obradovic & Gueye (Metalist’s tall center-backs) by surprise. In minute 9, Marilungo got through on the left and warmed the hands of the Ukrainian keeper, shortly imitated by Dessena who received a good ball from Bellucci, but missed his touch in front of Goryainov.

On the other end Jajá (Metalist’s lone striker up front) was constantly on the move, in order to try and break down Sampdoria’s three-man defensive line. And the Brazilian player would precisely be at the origin of his team’s first goal, right as the clock hit the half-hour mark: pass to Serhiy Valyayev, one-two exchange with Sliusar, Blucerchiati defense taking a nap and goal by the Ukrainian forward. 1-0 Metalist. 10 minutes passed and the Ukrainians made it two: great free-kick execution by Jajá, Mirante saw the ball’s trajectory too late and 2-0 Metalist at the half.

With three goals to score in 45 minutes (and this against a team who hasn’t conceded a goal since the first round), Sampdoria could simply hope the second half ended as quickly as possible. They weren’t going to lose any major volumes of sweat over it in any case. On the positive note at the full-time whistle: Marilungo (a kid definitely to keep an eye on) almost got the consolation goal in the end, missing out due to bad luck alone. Meager consolation for a team which, after spending so much energy to get out of the group stage phase, find themselves out after the first match of the playoff round.

(LEFT:) Metalist's Papa Gueye (L) challenges Sampdoria's Guido Marilungo during their UEFA Cup soccer match in Kharkiv February 26, 2009. (RIGHT:) Metalist's Jonatan Maidana (R) challenges Sampdoria's Guido Marilungo during their UEFA Cup soccer match in Kharkiv February 26, 2009. (REUTERS)


 FC Metalist Kharkiv
1-0 (3-0 agg.)
[Match Highlights]
 U.C. Sampdoria
GOALSCORERS: 30’ Valyayev (M), 41’ Jaja (M).
METALIST KHARKIV (4-3-1-2): Goryainov – Maidana, Obradovic, Gueye, Gancarczyk – Valyayev, Sliusar, Edmar – Rykun (57’ Devic) – Oliynik (86’ Berezovchuk), Jajá (78’ Bordian). (bench: Bazhan, Koynushenko, Barilko, Zezè). Coach: Markevich.
SAMPDORIA (3-5-2): Mirante – Campagnaro, Gastaldello, Da Costa – Ma.Padalino (82’ Mustacchio), Stankevicius (63’ Franceschini), Sammarco (63’ Pieri), Dessena, Ziegler – Bellucci, Marilungo. (bench: Castellazzi, Accardi, Ferri, Raggi). Coach: Mazzarri


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Posted in Sampdoria, UEFA Cup |

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