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FC VORKUTA DEFEATS UKRAINE UNITED IN CSL SEASON OPENER A penalty kick midway through the second half decided the Canadian Soccer League opening game of the new season between FC Ukraine United and visiting FC Vorkuta at Centennial Stadium in Toronto Sunday.

It was 1-1at 77 minutes to accurately reflect the evenly matched teams when referee Milomir Tomic pointed to the spot following a rough tackle by the Ukraine United defender inside the box. Vorkuta midfielder Oleh Kerchu drove the ball inside the left post to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. FC Ukraine United earlier opened the scoring at the 30 minute mark when a free kick from the left wing was headed against the Vorkuta post, leaving Vasyl Chornyl to beat Vorkuta goalkeeper Oleksandr Musilenko on the rebound. Vorkuta forward Oleksandr Lakusta, who appeared to be the most prominent forward for the visitors, struck the equalizer at 43 minutes, a drive from 7 meters out for the 1-1 tie at the break, Kerchu’s strike from the penalty spot held to the final whistle.

FC Vorkuta listed new players Oleksandr Yaremchuk and Bohdan Riabets from Europe, and Oleksandr Tarasenko was previously with FC Ukraine United. Ukraine United listed five new players, Amir Hosic, previously with Toronto Croatia, also new arrivals Ihor Malysh, Nazar Milishchuk, Roman Datsiuk and Serhly Savchenko. Milishchuk was recently honored as the best player in the Ukraine province of Lviv.

Both FC Ukraine United and FC Vorkuta have enjoyed extraordinary success since entering the amateur Canadian soccer community and stepping into the professional Canadian Soccer League Ukraine United was formed in 2006 to become a member of the Ontario Soccer League the following year, finishing third in their division and winning the George Finnie Cup. In 2008 the team won their division for promotion to a higher level Central Regional Division. Ukraine United won the Great Lakes Cup in 2010 and in 2011 was promoted to the OSL Premier Division with continuing success. The professional team under head coach Andrei Malychenkov, was entered into the CSL in 2016, finishing second in the First Division and won the Second Division title and post season Second Division Championship in 2017.

FC Vorkuta was formed in 2008 to join a Toronto downtown amateur league, winning the regular season title and playoffs. The following year the club moved to York Region, winning the Thornhill Soccer League championship. In 2017, the team was accepted into the Canadian Soccer League and under head coach Serhiy Zayets won the First Division title in its inaugural year.

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