Monday, 1 June 2020

Report: Kateryna Monzul in Shakhtar - Dynamo

Kateryna Monzul made a historic achievement being the first woman to handle one of the hardest games in European football, Shakhtar Donetsk - Dynamo Kyiv. Find out how she and her teammates got on in our detailed report!

Experienced: Monzul has a World Cup Final in her palmar├ęs

Here is our report for this important game:

Shakhtar Donetsk - Dynamo Kyiv
Kateryna Monzul - Oleksandra Ardasheva, Maryna Strilets╩╣ka - Denys Shurman
[Vitaly Romanov, Andrey Skrypka]

Key Match Incidents:

19’ Goal to Dynamo disallowed {see below}

38’ Onside by AR Ardasheva for 0-1 goal

88’ Second Yellow Card (tackle) to Dynamo no.4?

VAR Interventions:
19’ [OFR], defensive freekick (offside) -> defensive freekick + Yellow Card (striking)

Overall: in short, Monzul was good. Well done! If you are looking for something more detailed, continue reading.

First, let’s clear up what happened at 19’, there is quite a lot to unpack:

1) Goal is scored. What happens next?
After some delay, referee indicates a defensive indirect freekick. This is for offside. That’s the on-field decision: offside, no goal.

2) Was that offside call correct?
No. Oleksandra Ardasheva correctly detects that Dynamo no.70 who could be impacting the vision of the goalkeeper is beyond the line of Shakhtar defender, but that does not constitute the last defender, that’s Shakhtar no.6 who is down (see below). It’s clear from one replay angle that Ardasheva ‘holds her ground’, a signal that she is awaiting information from the referee, whether to raise her flag or not. It’s clear from the replay behind the goal that Dynamo no.70 never becomes involved in an active offside offence. I suspect that the referee did not actually perceive whether Dynamo no.70 impacts the goalkeeper (Ardasheva could shout “waiting on no.70” into the micro but the situation happens very fast) – there is quite a lot going on in the penalty area already (see below), but seeing the lack of attempt he made to save the ball (as if he didn’t see it), she tells Ardasheva to raise her flag for an active offside. There are two Dynamo players who obscure Ardasheva’s view of Shakhtar no.6 – Monzul really ought to have taken a more active role in offside here and offered more help to her teammate. 
The offside is incorrectly given. 

3) But wasn’t there a foul on Shakhtar no.6 before that?
Yes. He is struck by Dynamo no.4. The goal should not stand.

4) So was it correct that VAR called for an On-Field Review, if the goal shouldn’t have stood anyway?
I think so. But the procedure from Romanov was actually wrong here. Monzul should first have acknowledged that Dynamo no.70 did not commit an offside offence, ‘awarding’ the goal, before then disallowing the goal again for the aforementioned striking offence. 

5) Ultimately the correct decision was made then?
Yes, the goal correctly did not stand. Perhaps you can argue the striking offence was more careless than reckless, but the ensuing Yellow Card for Dynamo no.70 is clearly common-sensical given the circumstances, if not fully correct anyway. 

6) Could the match officials have done anything better here?
Yes, though it should be stressed that it was a very complex situation. 

Referee should ideally have: 

a) Indicated that Shakhtar no.4’s position might have been relevant for the AR’s offside assessment.
b) Failing that, whistled after the ball hit the net, and run over to the AR in order to visibly communicate the decision-making process to the players and audience (like this). 

Also the VAR procedure, while common-sensical and more time efficient, was wrong. 

What sticks out most of all to me is that it seemed that the referee disallowed the goal as a flippant call, and was waiting for VAR to decide afterwards. I understand this match is a special case for the officials involved, but this is not how VAR should work! It’s very important on a motivational level for the on-field match officials that they should aim to not have VAR intervene on any of their decisions, ie. not to clearly and obviously assess a KMI wrongly. 

Tough: Maksym Kozyrjackyj issued fourteen cautions in the cup Klasychne derby last season

On the whole, Monzul succeeded in handling the Klasychne derby. She adeptly managed to combine the policeman-like decisions needed to succeed in Ukrainian matches, especially Shakhtar – Dynamo, with friendly, reasonable, inter-personal relations with the players. At first, I thought she was trying to hard to interact with the players, but that was the genius of her approach – her, if I may say so, feminine (that’s a compliment) authority and leadership style was perfectly executed. It was perhaps not the most aesthetic piece of refereeing, but it was certainly effective. In a very dynamic game, she only lost her concentration for a short time (52’-56’). Her fitness was really good. 

On a more technical level: 

- Interesting penalty appeals at: 7’ (unclear, potentially a foul), 59’ (well-seen to play on) and 62’ (correct defensive freekick). 
- Potential Yellow Card at 41’ (reckless / SPA) not given was probably wise in the end: slightly delayed whistle meant it would have inflamed the game, also it was borderline and it was not really worth irritating Dynamo no.5 whom as captain she talked with and ‘through’ often. A further Yellow Card theoretically should have been issued for a reckless strike by Shakhtar no.11 at 13’, but considering he was carelessly tripped a couple of seconds before it would probably have just inflamed the game. 
- 88’ is a reckless foul in my view (no chance to play the ball fairly, heavier contact with the Achilles and foot) but you can understand how Monzul either misperceived the foul as careless or chose not to issue a Second Yellow Card there, all things considered. 
- Foul detection was pretty good - she was not helped by bad input from teammates at 48’ and 64’ when she had correctly decided to play on before and there were some smaller mistakes here-and-there: but for such a dynamic game her tactical accuracy was pretty high. 
- Both ARs, save for one understandable mistake by Ardasheva at 30’ and aforementioned 19', performed very well in their judgement of offside; the onside played by her for the opening goal is stellar. 

So overall, a certainly positive afternoon for Kateryna Monzul and her team. Though the game yielded some points for improvement, she can certainly be chuffed with how she fared in one of the hardest matches to referee in European football. Again – well done!

(Please keep comments on this page to Monzul / Ukraine only :))


  1. I still can not belive that ukraine still use adidas 14 kits for referees!!!!

    1. I read the interview of one of our current referee and he told that our referee committee doesn`t have enough money to renew kits for referees

  2. Thank you very much for paying attention to this match and to refereeing in my country - Ukraine!
    The last achievement of our refereeing was the 4th official Viktor Shvetsov at our EURO 2012! The last UEFA Champions League group stage match with my compatriot was more than 20 years`s really awful situation! Moreover, Collina was the head of our referee committee for 6 years from 2010 to 2016...

  3. Very well written, Mikael.
    I agree especially with this sentence: "it seemed that the referee disallowed the goal as a flippant call, and was waiting for VAR to decide afterwards". Indeed she had to cooperate more with assistant referee after the report of a possible offside.
    A referee must show he is willing in use VAR without fears, but before that, on the pitch, everything must remain as it was before the introduction of this new technology. This is very important. VAR is very helpful and in this case solved a quite difficult situation.
    I also agree with you that the foul by attacker was more careless than reckless, to be honest for me fully careless and nothing more, but one can understand in this case why spending a card was a good strategy to sell the decision (situation related to a goal scored).
    About the incident in 88', I think that Monzul detected only the push from behind. The contact between legs was very difficult to spot live, indeed, at first glance watching video, I had missed it as well. So one can fully understand why she didn't book the player.
    I didn't watch the game for the rest, but I'm happy reading that she was quite good. So at the end the only big point for discussion is surely the management of disallowed goal. Excellent no flag for the gol then scored afterwards!