Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Armenia – Turkey ‘dress rehearsal’: Armenian national youth football team beats Turkey 2:1

Henrik Mkhitaryan scored the late winner in Yerevan (© Khachik Chakhoyan)

I was speaking over the phone with my relatives in Yerevan when during the last minutes of Armenia-Turkey football match 2 goals by Armenian side ensured, as UEFA puts it, a “shock win” (Armenia surprise Turkey in Yerevan) by Armenia’s national youth team (European Championship Qualifying Stage of the Under 21 Championship).

I could then hear cheers of thousands of Armenian fans coming back from the stadium and celebrating the win in central Yerevan. Unfortunately, this win has only emotional significance as Armenian youth football team has no chance to advance further via this qualifying stage. But it was important match for Turkish side which they failed to deliver.

As usual with the youth teams, they are not considered as important as the main national ones. That’s the reason, perhaps, that there were no Turkish fans present there, and the entry to the stadium was free of charge(!).

It promises to be a different story on 6 September when for the first time national teams of Armenia and Turkey will meet in Yerevan over World Cup qualifying match. Thousands of Turkish fans are expected to arrive in Yerevan. It is not clear yet whether Turkish president will accept an invitation of his Armenian counterpart and visit Yerevan, for the first time ever.

And about newly renovated Hrazdan stadium… At least from the perspective of some TV viewers, newly renovated Hrazdan stadium looks very good. I will have a chance to check it out myself on 6 September, already got tickets for the match, can’t wait.

(video via Turkish TV)


me said...

As it happens, I was on the phone as well...People were going nuts. The big kids' game is going to be absolutely insane.

artmika said...

:) Tell me about it. Imagine if we win. I know chances are slim. Their national team is pretty strong but it's football, anything could happen. That will be something. 6th is THE day.

Observer said...

Mik? es du Yerevan es galis? Great news! Hope to see you.

artmika said...

me too :)

grigor said...

Do you know if Mkhitaryan has any relation to Hamlet Mkhitaryan? That goal he scored, the second, is absolutely stunning. It is an impossible goal. They don't show it from the other angle (so maybe we don't see the entire thing) but it basically looks impossible. I think most people would try the far corner not the near corner. It is a piece of beauty.

Anonymous said...

Henrik is the son of late Hamlet Mkhitaryan, who played for Ararat in the 80s