Football During WWII
GoalChatter introduces a unique series that will highlight the oft-forgotten games, players and managers of wartime football. Every week will feature a match played in one of the many countries affected by the War.
Dynamo Moscow 8:5 Dynamo Kiev
June 4, 1940
Dynamo Stadium, Moscow
Weather: Overcast, post-rain storm, 15°С
Referee: V. Vonog (Leningrad)
1:0, 4:2 Nikolai Dementyev (8, 51)
1:1 Petr Laiko (10)
1:2 Konstantin Shchegodskiy (25)
2:2 Sergei Solovyov (26)
3:2 Valery Bekhtenev (50) (Asst. Solovyov)
5:2 Mikhail Semichastny (52)
5:3, 8:4 Konstantin Kalach (59, 86)
6:3 Sergey Ilyin (70) (Asst. Solovyov)
7:3, 8:5 Vladimir Greber (74 o.g., 88 p.k.)
8:3 Yevgeni I. Eliseyev (82)
A year before the Soviet Union was invaded by Germany, the 6th edition of the Soviet football championship was underway.
Although the derbies between both Dynamo teams and Spartak Moscow were usually at the forefront at different points in time, a match between two of the best known Dynamo sides garnered no less attention. 60,000 would witness a game of open football from kick-off to final whistle. With 13 goals, including an own goal and a penalty scored by the same player, the match tallied the most goals ever scored in the Soviet and subsequently post-Soviet championship. It was also the most goals Dynamo Moscow would score in the domestic tournament.
Before the match, both teams occupied the middle of the table, Dynamo Kiev in 5th place with 7 points and Dynamo Moscow in 10th with 4 points. It would be Dynamo Kiev's 7th match and Dynamo Moscow's 5th.
The wet pitch didn't stand in the way of a goal fest. The first half sees the hosts open the score with an early goal by Nikolai Dementyev. An equalizer by Petr Laiko comes just two minutes later. The tides reverse when Shchegotskiy puts Kiev ahead after a corner kick, only to be followed by another fast equalizer from Sergei Solovyov, ending the first half in a 2:2 draw. The second half kicks off with a series of corners, leading up to the Moscow side scoring 3 goals in less than 2 minutes. The rest, as is often said, is history. The hosts scored their last goal on the 82nd minute, but conceded two more goals before the match was over.
After the game, Dynamo Moscow moved up to 7th place in the league table, trailing just a point behind the 4-way tie for 3rd place. One would think the Moscow Dynamo manager Boris Arkadiev would be pleased that his team got the 3 points and netted in 8 goals; yet he was paying more attention to the fact that they conceded 5. Instead of praise, he had criticism for keeper Yevgeni Fokin as well as the defenders.
The second leg of the tournament saw Fokin keep a clean sheet as Dynamo Moscow scored 7 goals against Dynamo Kiev. Solovyov, Semichastniy and Ilyin once again made the scoreboard. Arkadiev's team would go on to win the championship that year, with an incredible goal difference of 26:3. Dynamo Kiev would finish 8th in the league, leading to the exit of their manager, Mikhail Pechyoniy. It would be twelve years before they won against their Moscow namesakes.
Dynamo Kiev play Dynamo Moscow in June 1945:
Vladimir Vonog refereed in the Soviet championship during the 1930's. As a player, he was part of the RSFSR national football team's victorious tour of Scandinavia and Estonia in 1923. He was a man of many talents, being a footballer as well as a successful bandy player. He is considered the first Soviet bandy player to be awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sport. He died in 1942 during the Siege in Leningrad. Since 1952, the bandy players of the Kirov Plant, where he was an organizer of physical culture, have held a Cup tournament in his honour.
Five players from the derby, Radikorskiy, Semichastny, Stankevich, S. Solovyov and Dementyev, would feature in Dynamo Moscow's famous tour of Britain in 1945.
|Sergei Solovyov. Photo: fcdynamo.ru|
Nikolai Dementyev, one of the players to score a double, would feature in Dynamo Moscow's famous 1945 tour of Britain 5 years later. He signed for rivals Spartak Moscow in 1946.
Mikhail Semichastny captained the team for many years and was Dynamo Moscow's first top scorer in the 1936 spring Soviet championship. He started off as a forward, but was switched to a defensive role after becoming known for playing well with his head. He was named Honoured Master of Sports in 1945 and was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor in 1957. Semichastny went on to have a two-year coaching stint at Dynamo, after which he had various jobs in both football and hockey.
Sergei Ilyin was one of the best outside-left forwards in Soviet football. He became an Honoured Master of Sport in 1940. The legendary player made 105 appearances for Dynamo Moscow in the championship, scoring 49 goals. He played 104 games in the Soviet Cup between 1931 and 1944, netting in 83 goals. Ilyin was successful in both football and bandy, earning numerous awards in both sports simultaneously.
|Dynamo Kiev, spring 1941.|
Forward Konstantin Shchegodskiy also wore the captain's armband at Dynamo. The 1940 season saw his return to the team after a most difficult period in his life. He had been wrongfully arrested in the fall of 1938 and spent a year in prison during which he was brutally tortured. It took another year for him to recover his health. During the war, he was involved in the partisan movement and was also a military physical training instructor in the fourth division of the army fire brigade of the Mykilska Slobidka. He was part of a unit that joined the armed convoy and came under fire from the fascist aviation. The survivors scattered, and it was over two months before Shchegodskiy would reach his troops, after which he was appointed senior instructor of military physical training at the Kharkov division of the fire brigade. He joined Petr Laiko and other players in Kazan, where he played for the local Dynamo team. In 1944, he won the Spartakiad of the Republics of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. He began his coaching career upon returning to Ukraine in fall 1945, starting as a player-coach for Pishchevik Odessa.
Vladimir Greber, who scored an own goal and penalty, ironically debuted for Dynamo Kiev in a match against the Moscow Dynamo in 1936, the first-ever official match between the two teams. A player for whom penalties were a specialty, he is considered one of the top Soviet midfielders of the 1930's. During WWII, Greber fought on the front, and was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 2nd Class and the Order of the Red Star for his services and courage. Although he played for the reserves after the war, he played only one more match for the first team in May 1946, the last game of his playing career. He went on to have short coaching stints at various teams.
Three of Dynamo Kiev's players in that match, Aleksei Klimenko, Nikolai Korotkikh, and Vladimir Balakin, would represent FC Start in the infamous 'Death Match' against the German side Flakelf in 1942. It is questionable whether the game had any relation to the fate of the players who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. There are still many myths surrounding the match. The three players, along with a handful of others, were arrested in August 1942. Balakin was the only one to be released. Korotkikh was the last to be arrested. He was tortured to death by the gestapo after they found out he worked for the NKVD. Both Klimenko and Korotkikh were among the victims of the Syrets concentration camp (Babi Yar) in 1943.
|Boris Arkadiev coaching Lokomotiv Moscow in 1952.|
Dynamo Kiev's Mikhail Pechyoniy spent four years of his playing career and only one year as manager at the club. As a player, he took part and scored in Dynamo Kiev's first international match, a 4:3 loss to a Lower Austria XI. Pechyoniy took to managing Dynamo in 1939, but left at the end of the 1940 season after two consecutive 8th place finishes. He evacuated to Kazakhstan during the war and coached Dinamo Alma-Ata from 1942-43. He returned to Ukraine after the war, spending the rest of his life in Lviv, where he coached Spartak Lviv and a number of youth teams.