Ukraine facing EURO keeper crisis
Ukraine goalkeeper Andrei Dykan looks likely to be ruled out of the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament after sustaining facial injuries in his club Spartak Moscow's weekend fixture against Zenit St Petersburg. The 34-year-old, who has been capped eight times for Ukraine, was substituted in the 66th minute of Saturday's Russian league match, which Zenit won 2-1, shortly after a clash with forward Alexander Kerzhakov.
He was taken to hospital with severe concussion as well as fractures to his face and jaw. His injury, just over two months before the EURO 2012 kick-off in Poland and Ukraine, adds to the woes of national coach Oleg Blokhin after Shakhtar Donetsk keeper Alexander Rybka was handed a two-year ban for failing a dope test.
"The situation becomes precarious as Dykan is the second keeper we've lost shortly ahead of the European championships," Blokhin told AFP. "We still have experienced keepers Alexander Shovkovsky and Andrei Pyatov at our disposal but another loss may become fatal for our team."
Rybka, who won two caps in friendlies last year against Germany and Austria, was considered one of the main candidates for Ukraine's number one jersey during the championships. He tested positive for a banned diuretic contained in a weight-loss product after a league match in November.