Today is World Football Day. Armenian football is a part of the most popular and beloved sport in the world. On the occasion of the International Football Day, let us briefly touch upon the memorable events of the Armenian football annals.
“ARARAT-73”. TWO TOPS OF GLORY
The annals of Armenian football, which have a history of nearly a hundred years, are full of many memorable events. Undoubtedly, the most significant and brightest of them in the Soviet years was the flag bearer of Armenian football Yerjan “Ararat” was a sports feat, which in 1973. Nikita Simonyan Under his leadership he won the most honorable titles in Soviet football – the gold medal of the country champion and the crystal cup.
The drama of the struggle and the tension of the struggle were especially noticeable in the final match of the USSR Cup held on October 10 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. “Dynamo” with which: “Ararat” He was the main opponent in the championship race.
The main period of the match ended in a draw – 1-1. Moreover, the team from Ararat equalized the score in the last minute of the game. He stood out Leon Ishtoyan, who became the main hero of the match, capturing the goal of Dynamo for the second time in extra time and awarded his team the title of cup winner.
2 years later “Ararat” already Victor Maslov led for the second time in Luzhniki, this time defeating Voroshilovgrad 2-1 “Zarya”.
“Bavaria” suffered the only defeat from “Ararat”
1975 is a memorable day in the annals of Armenian football. March 19. That day “Ararat” Hosted Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup at Hrazdan Stadium “Bavaria” which included 1974 5 football players who won the title of world champion. In the 34th minute of the match Arkady Andreasyan The only goal scored was a victory “Ararat”.
Thanks to the 2-0 victory at home “Bavaria” continued the fight and won the Champions Cup, suffering the only defeat “From Ararat”.
In general, in 1971-1976. Those were the years of the rise of Armenian football, when the people of Ararat were among the leaders of the USSR championships. And the team players Alyosha Abrahamyan, Armen Sargsyan, Alexander Kovalenko, Norayr Mesropyan, Arkady Andreasyan, Sergey Bondarenko, Leon Ishtoyan, Eduard Margarov, Hovhannes Zanazanyan, Nikolay Ghazaryan, Sergey Poghosyan, Khoren Hovhannisyan and Nazar Petrosyan were among the best football players in Soviet football. Some of them were regularly invited to the USSR national Olympic teams.
Arkady Andreasyan and Hovhannes Zanazanyan became part of the team in 1972. bronze medalists of the Munich Olympics, and: Khoren Hovhannisyan He was the first Armenian football player to participate in the USSR national team in 1982. At the FIFA World Cup in Spain, becoming the author of a beautiful goal against the Belgian team.
Undoubtedly, if it were not for the “Iron Curtain” in the USSR, which forbade Soviet football players to move abroad, many of the people of Ararat would have succeeded in the strongest clubs abroad, from which there were secret offers at the time.
HISTORICAL DECISION FOR ARMENIAN FOOTBALL
1992 The holding of the national championship laid the foundation for the football history of the newly independent Republic of Armenia. When the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established after the collapse of the USSR, it was decided in 1992. The CIS Open Football Championship was held with the prior consent of the football federations of the newly created independent states (Georgia, the three Baltic states, withdrew from the USSR in 1990).
However, in early December, when Ukraine declared independence, the clubs of that country refused to participate in the championship. At the end of December, the newly established Football Federation of Armenia (President: Nikolay Ghazaryan, փոխնախագահ՝ Slava Sargsyan, General Secretary, Emin Baghyandiscussing the situation, the Executive Committee decided to refuse to participate in the CIS Open Championship. To hold the first national championship of independent Armenia and the “Independence Cup”.
Naturally, there was a lot of enthusiasm and desire to play in the first national championship of Armenia. So it is not surprising that 24 teams were included in the High Group and 20 teams in the First Group. Two teams from Gyumri after the end of the championship in intense competition “Shirak” և newly created Homenetmen(current: “Pyunik”), whose player-coach Khoren Hovhannisyan They scored equal points and were declared champions by the decision of the federation. And the “Independence Cup” was won by another newly formed team: “Banants” which he was training Varuzhan Sukiasyan.
The FFA soon became a member of UEFA and FIFA, with the newly formed Armenian national teams qualifying for the World and European Championship qualifiers and the clubs for the European Cups.
Over the past 30 years, many memorable events have taken place in the football annals of newly independent Armenia, which need not be mentioned, as the current generation of football fans has witnessed them. There is no need to refer to the new generation of football players, including the current star of Armenian football To Henrikh Mkhitaryan, which gave many moments of joy and happiness to the Armenian fans.
One can mention the competitions of the Armenian team Vardan Minasyan led by 2012 The qualifying tournament for the European Championship, in which our players were close to finishing second, but lost 1-2 in a decisive game against the Irish due to biased refereeing.
2022 The Armenian national team is also in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup Joaquin Kaparos In the beginning, he had a fantastic result, celebrating 3 consecutive victories, but later he did not enjoy the joy of victory anymore, the story had a sad ending.
In recent years, Armenian clubs have achieved unprecedented high results in European Cups. 2019/20 Champion of Armenia in the season “Ararat-Armenia” The first Armenian team played in the Europa League play-offs, repeating that success the following season. And in the current season “Alashkert” The first Armenian club managed to qualify for the group stage. It is true that the current champion of Armenia was very unsuccessful in the group stage of the Conference League, but set a new benchmark for Armenian clubs in the European Cups.
Armenian fans are always optimistic and never lose faith in Armenian football. They believe that one day the Armenian national team will be among the participants in the final tournament of the European or World Cup. With this optimistic note, let us end our brief reference to the annals of Armenian football.