23 October 2023 | in University World Cup Football
Pictured is the Paulista University men’s side who opened their tournament with a 2-2 draw against Croatia’s University of Split.
Schools from two powerful football nations met up at the Economic Development Zone Stadium as Paulista University of Brazil took on University of Split (UNIST) of Croatia in the most compelling match of the day.
Entertainment from this match was not lacking as midway through the first half a near disastrous turnover off a UNIST goal kick was fired just wide of the post by Paulista striker Diego Miticov Rocha. UNIST responded seconds later with two great chances including a shot by Jakov Vrdoljak that got past the keeper but not the post. Paulistas then opened the scoring in the 51st minute following a good build up down the right side that was finished by a top corner strike by João Pedro Colares de Oliveira. UNIST responded in the 73rd when Stipe Kurir deftly finished a cross past the outstretched arms of Paulistas keeper Diego Rodrigues Silva. Late in the second half, shortly after a great save by UNIST goalkeeper Roko Mika?i?, a skillful flick of the right heel kept a ball alive as Matheus Soares Nascimento volleyed home the go ahead marker. However, the turnovers that plagued Paulista throughout the match reappeared early in stoppage time as an uncontested error off a ball chipped into the box ended up on the foot of Petar Duran who fired home the 2-2 equaliser. That would be the final score giving UNIST one draw and one loss in the FISU Cup and Paulista a point in their tournament opener.
West University of Timisoara (WUT) from Romania took on Argentina’s National University of la Matanza (UNLaM) in what was a tightly contested match. The teams limited each other’s chances in the first half but in the 56’, a cross put into the box by Franco Milone was headed home by Diego Agustin Cardinale to give them the only goal they’d need in a 1-0 victory.
In their opening match of the tournament, what New Zealand’s University of Auckland (UoA) gave up in size, they made up in pace and quickness as they took on Ramon Llull University (URL) of Spain. However, it was not enough as the Spaniards skill and size ultimately led them to a 2-0 victory, on the heels of a 0-0 draw in their opener against University of the Republic. Daniel Santiago Sanchez scored both goals for URL, including his second off a set piece that he headed home from the goal area in the 50th minute.
Led by three goals from its captain Denys Kruhl, Ukraine’s State University of Trade and Economics (SUTE) defeated Western Sydney University, from Australia, 6-0. Kruhl provided SUTE’s initial two goals on first half penalty kicks while a beautiful back heel pass by Mykyta Komisar was finished by Oleksandr Savchuk in the 45th minute to give them a 3-0 lead. Western Sydney faced steady pressure from the Ukrainians in the second half leading to their second defeat of the event and SUTE’s first win in their opening match.
Results of the Day:
Paulista University (BRA) – University of Split (CRO) 2-2 (0:0)
Colares de Oliveira (51’, 1-0), Kurir (73’, 1-1), Soares Nascimento (86’, 2-1), Duran (90’+3, 2-2)
West University of Timisoara (ROM) – National University of la Matanza (ARG) 0:1 (0:0)
Milone (56’, 0-1)
University of Auckland (NZL) – Ramon Llull University (ESP) 0:2 (0:1)
Santiago Sanchez (42’, 1-0), Santiago Sanchez (50’, 2-0)
State University of Trade and Economics (UKR) – Western Sydney University (AUS) 6:0 (3:0)
Kruhl (23’, 1-0), Kruhl (41’, 2-0), O. Savchuk (45’, 3-0), Lyga (47’, 4-0), Kruhl (74’, 5-0), P. Savchuk (81’, 6-0)