Thursday, 10 October 2013

South Ossetia make international bow in Abkhazia loss

The disputed region of South Ossetia played an international for the first time last month when they travelled to fellow breakaway state Abkhazia for a friendly.

Unrecognized...the flags of the territories on a match poster
Both regions are recognised by only 5 countries, including Russia, who are viewed by Georgia as occupying the 2 areas. Abkhazia made their debut last year with 2 games against Nagorno-Karabakh and the proclaimed capital of Sukhumi was the venue for game on September 23rd.

In pouring conditions the hosts seized the initiative early on when Russian-based Almaskhan Dzheniya headed home an Astamur Tarba free-kick following some slack South Ossetian marking. Shortly before half-time Enrik Pilia was fouled inside the box and goalkeeper Aleksei Bondarenko stepped up to coolly slot home for 2-0.

Abkhazia failed to win in their 2 games against Nagorno-Karabakh last year but wrapped up their maiden victory when youngster Anrik Tania, fresh off the bench, took advantage of some more poor defending to make it 3-0.

Comfortable...Abkhazia cruised to victory
After the game veterans of the Abkhazian war were presented with gifts from the Abkhazia Football Federation and South Ossetia Chairman of the Sport Committee Sergey Zasseev stated “this is a historic date because in 20 years our teams have not met - this will forever remain in history”.

Information on such teams is hard to find and it is difficult to say when these teams will play next, however, a link to a short video which includes highlights of the game is available here.

Match information -

Score: Abkhazia 3–0 South Ossetia

Goals: Almaskhan Dzeniya ?, Aleksei Bondarenko ? (pen), Anrik Tania ?

Abkhazia XI: Bondarenko; Simonia, Ashuba [Chekirov ?], Khanagua, Khagba; Tarba [Tania ?],Tsishba; Dzhenia [Amichba ?], Khagba, Zaria; Pilia, Logua [Parulua ?]

South Ossetia XI: ?; Kabulov, Pukhayev, ?

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