Youth team was in complicated situation
The matches with the teams from the Czech Republic and Wales showed that there is a need for changes.
As part of the 3rd group of the 2013 European Championship selective phase, Armenia’s Under-21 youth football team played two very important matches with the Czech and Wales football players at Vazgen Sargsyan “Hanrapetakan” Stadium on November 11 and 15. The youth team didn’t get off to a good start in the match with the Czech. During the first half, chief coach Rafael Nazaryan’s players weren’t able to show teamwork reach the point where they were supposed to outscore the Czech team’s goalie Marek Stekh. In the meantime, Jacub Drovalil’s players were able to control the ball with confidence due to their remarkable advantage in terms of playing and space. There was a struggle and tension, but the match wasn’t worth watching, and that was expected since the leaders of the group were playing a match that meant a lot to them. In any case, the Czech managed to break the Armenian team’s resistance and score in the second half. At the 77th minute of the match, leading Czech attacker Jan Chranstan managed to make a quick decision in the complicated situation and score a goal. After the missed goal, the Armenian football players moved ahead with the hope of saving the match, but the guest team was more confident after scoring the goal and was organizing better defense. At the end of the match, at the last minute added to the main period, Jan Chranstan managed to scored another goal and won the match 2-0. Armenia’s youth team competed with the team from Wales during the year’s last international match held at Vazgen Sargsyan “Hanrapetakan” Stadium on November 15. In this selective match, Armenian would only be satisfied with victory since the Czech Republic had taken 3 points from Yerevan. As a result of the match, Rafael Nazaryan’s team went down to 3rd place in the 3rd group of the 2013 European Championship. Of course, only through a victory would Armenia make it to 2nd place by passing Montenegro. In the beginning, one could notice that both teams wanted to win, but none of the teams managed to play as a team. It was most probably because of the heavy snowfall and the cold weather. Armenian football players were almost close to scoring a goal, but weren’t able to outscore the Wales team. The British players became active starting from the 5th minute and were about to score several goals one after another. We mention that the Wales team played rather rough football and that is why the Armenian team’s attacks were ending soon. The Armenian team wasn’t able to find the pace that had helped Rafael Nazaryan’s players score 7 points in the first three matches of the selective phase, but the Wales players had better defense and were playing with the strategy of counter-attacks. Edgar Malakyan and Artak Alexanyan were trying their best to take the matter into their own hands, but they kept being ambitious and losing the ball at the last minute. One of those losses almost helped the British score a goal, but goalie Arsen Petrosyan defended the ball with confidence. The match was about to end, but the teams still weren’t able to show their potential and it seemed as though they were going to come to grips with a tie. Throughout the entire game, Wales goalie Christopher Maxwell didn’t enter the field once. The reason was because the Armenian football players’ attacks were simple and because Rafael Nazaryan’s team was rather slow. In the last minutes of the match, Armenian youth simply played terribly. Perhaps it was because of the weather, or perhaps the incomplete functional readiness or fatigue (Armenia’s highest championship ended just recently), but the fact remains that it simply wasn’t a match worth watching. As a result, the match ended with a tie, and that just wasn’t in our team’s favor. P.S. It is hard to state the reasons why Armenia’s youth team played poorly, but even the naked eye could see that the football players were tired. The players hadn’t been able to relax after a long series. Perhaps that was the reason why the Football Federation of Armenia made several changes in the championship for Armenia’s highest group just hours before the match. According to those changes, the teams have to reject goalies from abroad in order to ensure competition between different age groups and prepare good specialists for the national team. This decision will enter into force in 2012. It has also been decided that Armenia’s championship will make a switch from the spring-fall to summer-spring system in 2012, just like teams play in almost all parts of Europe. The upcoming championship will kick off in March 2012 and will end in May 2013, and in 2013, the series will switch to the fall-spring system, which will only favor Armenia’s football teams. Harutyun Tsatryan