FC Viktoria Pilsen, previously a mediocre countryside team and now the charismatic soccer team in my hometown whose international and national successes since 2010 or so have been shrouded in mystery, has been playing under a new coach, Dušan Uhrin Jr, for a month because the previous legendary coach Pavel Vrba was stolen by the Czech national team.
So far it looks like Pilsen can continue its miraculous crusades through the European soccer. The new strategy seems to be more defensive than Vrba's, and the offensive character of the game was a part of the special enigma, but today, the defensive game was so incredibly successful and efficient that we may get excited about the refreshed game style, too. (We also played with a new goalie, Mr Bolek, who hasn't played for more than a year but who still seemed like a more than impressive replacement for Mr Kozáčik; Bolek is Czech but he came from Senica, Slovakia.)
Pilsen played the second match against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine. The team is a giant. For example, it won the last UEFA Cup in 2009 (before it was reorganized as the UEFA Europa League the teams were playing today). In another benchmark of quality, Donetsk is also incredibly good: eleven. That's the number of the Brazilian players (mostly offensive players).
The team is owned by Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's wealthiest person, who would support Yanukovitch but recently suggested that he is ready to cooperate with the rebels if it's gonna be better for him. It's the kind of opportunism that is probably common among the rich people in general. Ukrainian politics will be discussed at the bottom.
Pilsen was incredibly lucky today. But this degree of good luck cannot be just luck; the p-value is too extreme. It must be a result of some intelligent design. After the first period, Pilsen took the sensational 2-to-0 lead, and despite the overwhelming pressure from the Ukrainian (i.e. Brazilian) players, they were able to keep it up to the 88th minute when the score got corrected to 1-to-2. 2-to-2 would still be OK because goals scored on the opponent's stadium are counted as (twice) greater achievements and the score in Pilsen was 1-to-1.
The match took place at the Donbass Arena whose capacity is 52,000 people, five times larger than our Doosan Arena's capacity. ;-)
The shots at goal were something like 60-10 in favor of Donetsk. Corners: 20-3 in favor of Donetsk (it looks like Viktoria is deliberately kicking the ball into the corner – an algorithm of defense – because it feels safe with them). And so on, and so on. But the Ukrainians still lost. ;-) They have only lost 6 out of 100 matches in this new arena. The last previous team that beat them over there was Juventus Turin in 2012.
Pilsen advanced to the Europa League's top 16, just like a year ago, but a year ago, we easily lost in the next step. We will see whether it may be better now.
Various worrisome as well as amusing events took place in Ukraine today. Crimea is emerging as the new epicenter of tension. A Russian flag is now waving above the local Parliament; it was overtaken by some armed men, possibly by Yanukovytch's Berkut elite units.
Nikolai Vulaev, a former Russian top boxer and now a lawmaker, came to Crimea (where the situation looks like a day before the war). He has never fought against Vitali Klitschko. When Klitschko invited him for a match in 2010, Vulaev refused the $2.5 million offer and was labeled a "chicken" by Klitschko. A chicken is a nice, cute, and tasty animal, but I still guess that Vulaev hasn't viewed the comparison as a compliment and he must dislike Klitschko. It may finally be the right time for the match.
More interestingly, scientologist Yatsenyuk who was named the new prime minister by the "revolution" – yes, it's the same guy whom the two Jewish American diplomats wanted to be the boss of the government (yes, I do have a problem with this meddling, especially given the overrepresentation of some people among the diplomats who apparently "mattered") – finally decided to look at the state treasury, the coffers he must have taken without any work. He must have been excited: Now I will be controlling these tens of billions of euros, he was probably thinking. ;-)
He opened them and there was apparently... nothing in it (except for a few millions worthless hrivnyas). When I saw this news, I laughed out loud. This is so hilarious. These folks are used to easy solutions. A few guns, some intimidation, and propaganda support by the Western press etc. – and they may simply overtake the government buildings. They must surely overtake the whole country as well and Yanukovytch is gone, right?
Well, it turns out that one needs some cash to run a country and they don't have any cash. The Ukrainian nation's cash is still being governed according to the law – probably by Yanukovytch who moved the money to safety in order to protect them against the violent unemployed mostly fascist rabble. LOL. If that's true, one must say that at least he managed to do this thing right. Just ten hours ago, I thought that Yanukovytch's comments that he was still the president were just ludicrous vacuous proclamations from any practical viewpoint. But if he has $37 in his pocket (and the pocket is perhaps now located in Russia), that's quite an ace. It would mean that the new "revolutionary government" would have to return to the table, to say the least. George Soros only owns 10% of the sum. ;-)
If you want to violate every law of your country as well as the latest deal with the government and steal a whole country, you should perhaps have a better financial plan and higher intelligence, Mr Yatsenyuk.
Tomorrow, Yanukovytch will have a press conference in Rostov-on-Don. I suppose that he will explain some rules how the money may only be allocated to the legal authorities, ministries, and regions, not to the rebels and criminals. In practice, I can imagine that the Western Ukraine will be living in some kind of financial shortage in the coming months – the Eastern Ukraine may be doing just fine.
It looks like entertaining developments – when the dust settles, I think that Hollywood may shoot a pretty good thriller about the stories.