First Team Sub
Jun 7, 2017, 11:46 AM
Location: NW Leicestershire
Team(s): Arnold Town/ Loughborough Dynamo
Post #1 of 3
I’ve just had a week in Kiev. My football plans didn’t go quite as planned. I timed my arrival with the game Dynamo Kiev v Chornomorets. I arrived at the Olympic stadium and visited the large club shop. I asked about getting for the tickets for the game, only to be told that although the game was technically a home game, it was being played away. The girl could speak very little English so I didn’t understand why? I’d looked at fixtures for the Kiev City League ( koff.org.au). This is a really user-unfriendly site and the fixtures were only released shortly before my trip. Unfortunately the easy to get to clubs were all away. I could have watched a game in Boryspil at the same stadium as Arsenal Kiev play at, but I couldn’t get motivated to tackle the bus services. At least I got 1 game, which still caused me a few headaches.
Obolon’-Brovar 1 Skala Stryl 0 – Persha Liga 7pm
Admission 30 UAH- just under £1
Programme 20 UAH
No hot drinks, but I had a beer for 15 UAH – 50p.
I’d drawn a map to get to this ground. It all looked so easy, leave the metro station (Heroiv Dnipra) and head north along the Obolon Highway and turn right at the last block before you meet the river. I arrived at the metro station to find a huge construction site and many of the exits were blocked off and no signs. On reaching the surface I assumed the road to my left was the one I needed and I followed that. I walked a long way and couldn’t find the ground and no-one who could speak English. I found a hotel and the girl at reception could speak some English. She told me to retrace my steps to the metro station then turn right. I did that and would you believe I ended back at where I had been before? I then chose the third road leading from the metro (again a major road) and once again no ground. With just 30 minutes remaining before kick-off I was getting desperate. I crossed the building site and walked by a bus station. This certainly didn’t seem to be a “highway”, but it did have greenery at the end. I turned right one block before the end of the road and there was the ground. Next challenge was to get in. I walked around to the main stand, but told I had to walk back to the ticket office on the other side of the ground. There I handed over my 30UAH and also bought my “Brucie Bonus” programme. It was a decent 10 page, professionally produced issue and cost 20UAH. After my experience of struggling to get programmes in other European countries, this was a nice surprise.
My seat was in the main stand with a good view of the pitch. This stretched the length of the ground. On the opposite side of the ground was a section of low terracing, with the home ultras located in one corner. Under the stand was a refreshment counter where I bought a mini-pizza and a beer for less than 70p. There was also a club shop so I bought a metal badge. The ground was surrounded by soviet era tower blocks and not really an attractive location.
The home team were in mid-table and the visitors were already relegated, but they played well and defended in depth. During the first half they created the best two chances of the half but their finishing was poor. The second half saw the home side take the lead when the keeper pulled off a great save, but the rebound fell nicely to the home number 10 to score. To their credit the away side threw everything forward and saw a shot hit the cross bar and the home keeper made a great save. On the final whistle the ultras on the opposite side of the pitch let off a rank of green and white flares to celebrate the win. It was a 10 minute walk back to the metro station and a train back to the hotel.
My thoughts about Kiev. It’s an interesting city to visit but it is hard work. Very few people speak any English and whilst my Ukranian phrase book helped, communication was difficult. There are lots of things to do but no tourist infrastructure to help. Trying to find even major tourist attractions can be hard due to the lack of signs and street names. The city is safe and very cheap. The most I paid for beer was 50 UAH and that was in a craft beer bar called Woolly Hops. There is a craze for brewpubs in the city which means you don’t have to drink bland lager, but to be honest most of the brewpub beers weren’t very good. The metro is very cheap to get around at only 4UAH a trip. The main thing is I’ve knocked off another one of the UEFA countries now.
Chelsea Transfer Target
Nov 13, 2018, 4:25 PM
Post #2 of 3
Might as well tag onto this.
Arrived in Kyiv (apparently the now-preferred spelling) and spent a enjoyable day sightseeing on the Friday in fairly warm weather. Woke up on Saturday and it was decidedly chilly and misty. The mist gradually turned to fog and by the time I left the Syndicate (more of that later) for the 15 min walk to the ground, I was beginning to think the game might be in doubt. Compounded upon arrival to find the entrances closed and the floodlights not on. Soon, though, things kicked into life and it was all systems go for:
Sat 10 November 2018 KO 1930
Arsenal-Kyiv 0 FC Olexandria 3
Adm 50 UAH (~ £1.40) Att 632
By kick off the visibility had greatly improved and by half time all the fog had gone but the temperature was only just above freezing.
A very easy win for the away side whose support probably made up around about half the crowd. The home team created very little and spurned a softly-given penalty which the keeper saved comfortably.
Arsenal are playing at the Dynamo stadium (a 16800 all-seater bowl) this season. The only cover, other than the VIP 'boxes', is over the press seats.
Morning again dawned cold and misty which curtailed the sightseeing before:
Sun 11 November 2018 KO 1700
Dynamo Kyiv 4 Mariupol 0
Adm 50 UAH Att 7162
Mariupol were the better team for the opening 20+ minutes but missed 2 or 3 clear cut chances. As often is the case when underdogs fail to make early domination count, they then conceded late in the first half before being well beaten in the second.
Dymano play at the NSC Olimpiyskiy which, as to be expected for somewhere which has hosted the Euro 2012 and Champions League 2018 finals, is an excellent modern stadium. It is, though, obviously far too big for the sort of crowds Dynamo normally attract.
The lady in the ticket office seemed very keen to sell me a VIP ticket at 500 UAH, a major selling point being that "plastics are not allowed". Paying 10 times the price just to avoid Chelsea fans seemed rather excessive, so I bought one of the cheapest ticket which, in the event, allowed you to sit anywhere you pleased ( with the exception of the aforementioned VIP zone) as no stewarding was in force.
On Kyiv in general, I agree that it is a very interesting and safe city with lots of things to do and plenty of places serving cheap food and drink. In fact, I would say it is now my favourite ex Soviet-bloc city visited. Coffee drinkers are particularly well catered for with cafes, large and small, supplemented by any number of street kiosks and mobile outlets everywhere.
The Metro fare has now doubled to 8 UAH (~22p !)
I visited a few of the many craft beer bars / brewpubs. At the very plush Syndicate brewpub - receptionist to greet you, cloakroom attendant to hang up your coat etc - an excellent two course meal washed down with a few half litres of 'Irish Red' came to less than £13.
Very different was the Woolly Hops, in a rather unlikely looking location, with 20 draught beers and far more bottles on offer and an ambience and prices to make you think you were Amsterdam circa 1980s.
Excellent weekend, even with the less than perfect weather.
(This post was edited by mick on Nov 13, 2018, 5:16 PM)
First Team Star
Nov 14, 2018, 11:12 AM
Post #3 of 3
I was also at both of these matches. Flew into Kyiv (also noted) on Saturday afternoon and landed about 5:30pm. Took a taxi straight to the ground and arrived about 20 mins before KO for:
Arsenal-Kyiv 0 FC Olexandria 3
The attendance of 632 seems slightly inflated although I don't profess to be the greatest counter! Match perfectly summed up in one line. Seems like Arsenal are still suffering from the Ravanelli spell! Met someone I'd been talking to online (not grinder!) outside the stadium and we spoke at length about Ukraine's recent history and why the crowds were so low. In summary there are no matches in Ukraine where you'd struggle to get a ticket and he doesn't see this changing anytime soon.
Spent Sunday travelling around Kyiv and visiting many of the usual tourist spots. The Motherland statue is impressive although I didn't visit the nearby museum. Decided against using the metro as it was far too expensive! Walking around the city at least kept me warm.
Dynamo Kyiv 4 Mariupol 0
Headed for the NSC about 4pm to be sure to be able to get a ticket (again attendance seems inflated which may also include season ticket holders not in attendance like the EPL). Was approached at the ticket booth by someone trying to sell me a VIP ticket for 400UAH when the usual price is 500UAH (think he had easily 100 tickets in a bundle so knew it wasn't going to be a sell out)! Decided on the 50UAH option and was sold a ticket in block 61 (bottom tier, same end as the "ultras" but by the other corner flag). Saw how empty it was so went and sat in the upper tier next to the media boxes where the view was better due to the athletics track. There seems to be absolutely no reason to spend anymore than 50UAH as like mick said, you can go anywhere you wish bar the VIP section. Match again perfectly summed up by mick. Interesting to see Tamas Kadar play again after seeing him play a few times for Newcastle. The penalty seemed soft from my view point but by then the match was all but over.
Taxi after the game straight to the airport for a flight back to a slightly warmer Stansted.