Montreal ’76 : Games of Group D


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Striker OLEG BLOKHIN of Dynamo Kiev, the all-time goal-scoring king for the senior national team of the UNION of SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, scored the seventh and final goal of his career at the Summer Olympic Games in the final Group D match of the ’76 Montreal Games opposite the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa.
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As we have already discussed here at the blog, host nation CANADA dropped both of its first round Olympic football matches to the communist pair of the SOVIET UNION and NORTH KOREA.

This arranged a winner-take-all affair between the U.S.S.R. and the upstart North Koreans, still only ten years removed from a most famous upset of Italy at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, at modest Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. North Korea, by virtue of goal-differential, could be content with a draw in the Canadian capital city. Neither side would be happy with second place in the group, though, and the expected corresponding quarterfinal match with defending Olympic champion Poland that would bring.

Soviet trainer VLADIMIR LOBANOVSKY, who steered Ukranian club Dynamo Kiev to the 1975 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup title, sent out the same side to confront North Korea that had downed Canada 2-1 on the strength of two goals from VLADIMIR ONISCHENKO, one of nine Dynamo Kiev players in the Startelf. Only twelve minutes into the match at Lansdowne Park, the reliable ANATOLI KONKOV was injured and would miss the rest of the tournament. This development would deprive the Soviets of an experienced defender (47 caps) who could get forward and score (eight goals).

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Czechoslovakia captain KAROL DOBIAS (left) of Spartak Trnava watches as Soviet Union defender ANATOLI KONKOV of Dynamo Kiev jumps up to avoid the sliding challenge of Czechoslovakia midfielder JOZEF SAJANEK of Inter Bratislava during the international friendly in Kosice which resulted in a 2-2 tie on March 10, 1976.
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Konkov’s place would be taken by Dynamo Kiev teammate MIKHAIL FOMENKO, the 27-year-old who earned 24 ‘full’ caps for the U.S.S.R. in his career; of the fifteen field players on the ’76 Olympic squad, no less than eleven were also under the direction of Lobanovsky at Dynamo Kiev, the reigning domestic champion in the Soviet Union.

Soon after Kolotov went down, the Soviets received a lift from another of the U.S.S.R. Startelf that had lost the 1972 UEFA European Championships 3-0 to West Germany. VIKTOR KOLOTOV, the 27-year-old Dynamo Kiev attacking midfielder who also collected a bronze medal at the ’72 Munich Games, notched his fourth career goal for the Soviet Union at the Summer Olympics from the penalty spot in the 16th minute. The North Koreans never really did recover.

The Soviets applied the coup de grace with a pair of strikes in the closing stages. Midfielder VLADIMIR VEREMEYEV, yet another Dynamo Kiev man, doubled the score with just under ten minutes remaining in the match. Star striker OLEG BLOKHIN, the current European Player of the Year from Dynamo Kiev who registered six goals for the U.S.S.R. at the Munich Games four years earlier, tacked on a third for the Soviet Union in the 89th minute.

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Midfielder VIKTOR KOLOTOV of Dynamo Kiev, who scored the first goal for the U.S.S.R. in the group-winning 3-0 victory over North Korea at the 1976 Summer Olympics, ranks as the fifth leading goal-scorer on the all-time chart for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
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1976 Summer Olympic Games
First Round, Group D
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7/19 … 24,591 … Olympic Stadium, Montreal …. Soviet Union 2 – Canada 1
7/21 … 12,638 … Varsity Stadium, Toronto ……. North Korea 3 – Canada 1
7/23 … 15,233 … Lansdowne Park, Ottawa ……… Soviet Union 3 – North Korea 0

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