THE EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY OFF FINAL IS UPON US 🇪🇺🇺🇦
We have come to the official end of the 19/20 Ukrainian (domestic) football season!
Kolos Kovalivka take on Mariupol for a place in the 20/21 UEL 2nd Q round!
The Village takes on The Seagulls at the NSK Olympiyskyi today 🔥
Kolos v Mariupol
UPL debutants Kolos Kovalivka are 90 minutes away from their maiden European campaign – after their very first season in Ukraine’s top flight!
Kovalivka, the Kyiv Oblast village that they hail from, has a population of just 1,500!
Their stadium used to hold just 1,500 people before being renovated this season and is expected to host its first UPL game next season – with a new capacity of 5,000!
Whatever happens it’s been a hugely successfully & unprecedented debut UPL season
One in which they finished in 6th (top half of the table) & recorded some historic results such as narrow losses to SD (4-3/1-0) & beat DK (2-0)
Ruslan Kostyshyn’s men play great football to match
Their dismantling of Dnipro-1 in the semi final by a scoreline of 4-1 showed the quality they possess in their ranks – with a good mix of veteran UPL players & young talent which has a bright future!
They may not be 100% ready for the UEL but they’ll give it a go if they make it
Due to stadium renovations this season, the side has played their home games in North Kyiv’s Obolon Arena and more recently at the Olympiyskyi
The ownership – a successful Agricultural firm (‘Kolos’ means an ear of wheat) bussed in fans from the Kovalivka & surrounding villages for free to see their team play
More fans are expected today as the UPL & UAF continue their post Covid-19 stadium open door experiment – with 25% capacity permitted at the Olympiyskyi – whilst conforming to social distancing rules!
On the other hand, Mariupol go into this game as underdogs!
The side finished in a record 4th place in 18/19 and have some UEL Q round experience to match but have been far from eye catching this season
They finished 8th in the league – but did beat 5th Oleksandriya in the Semi
With rumours of manager Oleksandr Babych potentially being lined up as a Skripnyk replacement at Zorya
It’s difficult to see where this Mariupol side are going – especially with the high # of SD loan players it has
After the past season, hard to see them go far in Europe either!