Ishola Earns Minsk Cup Win
Tawa Ishola Hands Belarus Women FA Cup Title To Minsk
Tawa Ishola's golden touch helped Minsk FC secure a second Belarus Women FA Cup title in three seasons with a 2-1 win over Zorka-BDU on Saturday.
The Super Falcons star struck from close range with eight minutes remaining in the first half to secure a hard-earned victory for Minsk.
It was a team effort as Onome Ebi marshalled the defence line, while Gift Otuwe provided the steel as the defensive midfielder.
Ishola, 25, showed more all-round ability and constantly worked the channels well.
Her stunning strike was crucial because it turned out to be the match winner – until then Minsk had been pressing high up and contesting quite an open game in midfield with Gift emerging and winning most of the aerial battles.
So what of the tactical battle? This was fairly obvious – Minsk were 4-2-3-1, Zorka were 4-3-3. There was a 3 v 3 in midfield, clear battles on the flanks, then each side had a spare player at the back.
The system was clear as Minsk had lost to Zorka 2-1 in a league match earlier in the season.
The Minsk full-backs tucked in narrow, and the wingers tracked the full-backs, then broke forward quickly to support Ishola upfront.
Tatyana Kiose, a former Zorka player put Roman Levitsky's side ahead when she latched onto the ball eight yards from goal to slot into the net.
Ukrainian international Yuliya Stets drew Zorka level with a well-placed effort past Ekaterina Miklashevich two minutes after the half hour mark.
Minsk regained the lead after 37 minutes, when the ball fell to Ishola at the back post and her shot beat goalkeeper Nataliya Voskobovich.
Zorka almost grabbed a fortuitous equaliser but the back-four led by former Djurgarden star Onome denied them the chance.
“The staffs and management of Minsk FC congratulates the women's club team with this victory and wish them a successful performance in the UEFA Champions League,” according to an official statement released by the club.