I will be doing a little side story on the real-life results of Pyunik, as they have just started the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round Matches today. I will reflect on the players who scored, as most of those players are still with me at the club today.
NB: Pyunik Yerevan qualified for the First Qualifying Round by winning the 2012 Independence Cup in real-life.
Hope you guys like this add-on, anyways on with the result:
As you can see, Pyunik scored a late goal in what could of been the winner. Viulen Ayvazyan, only 18 years old in real life (21 currently in-game), he is a player who can play from the centre of the midfield all the way up to a striker. FK Teteks are a Macedonian team who qualified for the Europa League through winning the Macedonian Cup. A cup winner from the 39th best league in Europe against a cup winner from the 50th best league, what could happen? The match was intense in the last 10 minutes as Viulen Ayvazyan scored a potential winner, only for his goal to be cancelled out by Teteks' Iseni in the 90th minute.
Pyunik gained the upper hand on Teteks by scoring an away goal, could they win at home in the VSH Stadium on the 11th of July? And most importantly, will they able to match my feat of reaching the Group Stages from the First Qualifying Round?
Hope you guys like this side-story! Next one will be on the 11th of July.
"December the 31st, 2014. A big day in Sky Sports News, where we have started a new 24-hour episode called: The Overview of the Leagues in Europe. This will also happen on the 31st of June, at the end of most domestic league seasons. Of course, we have taken into the fact thats some leagues run from February to November, rather than the usual August to May. The leagues will run in alphabetical order, starting with Albania and ending with Ukraine. Then after that, in a different episode, tomorrow, we will talk about the Europa League, Champions League, and more."
"So we will start off with the Albanian Premier League! Mid-way through the season, KF Tirana lead..."
"Our 3rd league is the rapidly-rising Armenian Premier League, where we've just had Pyunik Yerevan win the title for the 2nd time in a row, their 14th Premier League title in their history. They won the league by 9 points, fighting off challenges from the usual top teams: Ulisses (who qualified for the Second Qualifying Round in the Europa League), Shirak and Impuls (who both qualified for the First Qualifying Round in the Europa League) who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. In 5th place we have newly-promoted Gandzasar Kapan, who scored an outstanding 55 goals (3rd best in the league) but conceded 61 goals. A better defence is what Gandazasar Manager Sevada Arzumanyan will be looking for in the Winter Transfer Window. In 6th, we have Mika who finished off with 36 points, they should have done better, but their attack was not good enough. In 7th, Banants Yerevan. How lucky are they? They finished on the same amount of points (22) as relegated Ararat Yerevan did, but their goal difference saved their life, they finished with -27, while Ararat finished with a -28 GD."
Here is the table in full, and Champions' Pyuniks' Results:
They had only lost once all season, until 3 losses in the last 6 games made them wait longer to win the Premier League.
Top Scorers, Assists, and more
The top scorer of the Armenian Premier League is Ulisses playerYeghia Yavruyan with 20 goals in 22 games. In 2nd, we have Robert Zebelyan (Shirak) with a close 19 goals... and in 3rd we have Malian striker Yamadou Keita, who scored 18 of Gandzasar's 55 goals.
The top assister in the league was between 3 players, Levon Pachajyan (Shirak), Ghuka (Pyunik) and Yamadou Keita (Gandzasar).
Finally, we have the best player in the league. Robert Zebelyan, the 2nd top scorer of the league snapped up the Armenian Premier League Player of the Year, scoring 19 goals and giving 5 assists in 20 games; he finished off with an average rating of 7.79. Sadly, his work could not get Shirak Gyumri to the title as they finished 13 points off of the title in 3rd.
Before we head off to Austria, we had a word with title-winning manager Hamoudi Fayad, who talked about the title, Ghuka, Mkrtii and his squad.
SSN - Sky Sports News HF - Hamoudi Fayad
SSN - "So Hamoudi, you have won the title for the second time in a row, how do you feel?" HF - "I am so proud of my players, and I know how we can be consistent in winning the title every year and having FULL domination over Armenian football."
SSN - "How about your players? Who shined, and who didn't?" HF - "I am very proud of Ghuka. The top assister, 11 goals scored, an average rating of 7.44 at the age of 21; this kid is bound to be a legend here. I love him like my own son, he is a respectful lad and I am so happy to manage him. My most disappointing player is a rather shocking selection, with Mkrtii being the player. He scored 6 goals this season, both of them being hat-tricks, but that was it. He may have saved our lives many times in Europe this season, although I expected better than a 6-goal season. After the past 2 seasons, I have been wishing he breaks the record of most goals scored for Pyunik (89), and he is at 39 goals now, but I do not want an inconsistent season like that again from him."
SSN - "and what about-" HF - "That is all I have to say, I will be back soon though, thank you for having me Sky Sports News."
"Anyways, that's done with Armenia, now off to Austria!"
I decided to do my updates like this, one for the Premier League, one for the Cup, one for Europe, one for the Youth Intake, and more... instead of having them cramped up into one post. Next update will be the Cup!
The Armenian Independence Cup, or the "FA Cup" of Armenia is a tournament that consists of every club in Armenia. That sounds like a lot of clubs, but there are only 22 clubs in Armenia.
It starts off with the First Round, 7 First League clubs and 5 lower league clubs in a knockout, then 2 more First League teams and 8 Premier League teams get added into the Second Round and the number rises to 16 teams, with 6 teams already eliminated. Them, we have the Quarter Final with 8 teams, the Semi Final with 4 teams, and the Final with 2 teams.
Prize Money? 30,000 pounds. European Qualification? Europa League Second Qualifying Round.
The First Round
The First Round consisted of: Banants-2, Yerevan United, Pyunik-2, Patani Yerevan, Ararat-2, Gandzasar-2, Martuni, Impuls-2, Pyunik-3, Banants-3, Mika-2 and Shenghavit.
The teams that made it to the next round were: Yerevan United, Pyunik-2, Gandzasar-2, Martuni, Pyunik-3 and Mika-2.
The Second Round
The Second Round is where the rest of the teams came in, and every Premier League team made it to the next round, besides Banants and Gandzasar, and only Shirak-2, Kilkia and Pyunik-3 made it from the lower leagues.
The Quarter Finals was shocking. Unexpected teams made it to the Semi Finals, but who?
Pyunik Yerevan defeated Shirak-2 3-0 with a weakened side.
Pyunik-3 defeated Kilkia 4-0! A big shock as they go into their first Semi-Final..
Ulisses defeated Ararat 4-1, no shock there.
And finally, Mika defeated Shirak 2-1 in a shocking match, and now the question is, which 2 teams would go to the Final?
2 big teams, 1 mid-table team and one Second Division team. What could go wrong?
Ulisses vs Pyunik-3
Pyunik vs Mika
The expectation was, of course, a Final between Ulisses an Pyunik, and that is what happened.
Ulisses defeated Pyunik-3, 3-0
Pyunik defeated Mika 2-1.
[h5]Pyunik vs Ulisses - VSH Stadium - 15.10.2014
Gael Andonian (Ulisses, '12)
Ghuka (Pyunik, '16)
"Andonian with a throw-in... a long one to Antonyan, who dribbles the ball, passes it to Lovyan who passes it back to Antonyan, back to Andonyan again! and now to Azin - this passing game is good! - Azin with a through ball to Tadevosyan, Tadevosyan to Yavruyan... Yavruyan shoots! and its GONE IN! MY WORD, WHAT A GOAL."
Yavruyan (Ulisses, '66)
"2 minutes of added time is almost up, Ulisses are somehow not allowing Pyunik to score AND THEY'VE WON IT! ULISSES HAVE JUST WON THE ARMENIAN INDEPENDENCE CUP!"
Ulisses 2-1 Pyunik
A sad day for the Pyunik Manager, the players, and their fans... and a happy day for Ulisses.
The Armenian Supercup is a one-game tournament, like every Supercup. It consists of the winner of the Premier League against the Winner of the Independence Cup. In 2013, Pyunik won the double therefore they were placed in the Supercup, and since Impuls Dilijan finished 2nd in the league and were runners-up in the Independence Cup, they will face Pyunik.
In 2015, The Independence Cup will be between League Champions Pyunik against Cup Winners Ulisses.
The Youth Intake this year was not the best, but it certainly wasn't the worst. I would say a 6/10 would be a good rating for this year's intake.
Yes it does look poor because of the star rating, but for some reason, a one and a half star rating is a "good player for the Premier League" and a 2-star player is a "leading star for the Premier League", which isn't bad. Although I think it could get better as some of my first-team players have 4-star potential.
My best acquisition from the youth intake was:
Only 16, 186 cm tall, with 15 heading, 16 determination, 14 workrate and 16 bravery being his outstanding stats, this kid is the future of Pyunik, I can tell you that.
As you can see, I offloaded a lot of players. Most of them were half-star rated players with no future at the club, and I didn't want an overload in my squad so I could remember my players that I want, not players that I don't need. I sold Hovhannes Hovannisyan for 85,000 pounds to Ulisses. It may seem like I am strengthening my rivals, but in 2015 I got a special youngster from Ulisses, so that will hopefully do us good. And guess what? Until now, Hovhannes has not scored a goal for Ulisses in 8 games! Anyways, back to the reason I sold him, I sold him because the board got mad at me for not using youngsters (when our squad's average age is 20.75...), and I had around 8 strikers, so I offloaded him and two other youngsters (more on that next season).
Now on to my best transfer acquisition: Valter Poghosyan.
Those were his stats for the 2014 season, he may have not scored many but he did assist 12 goals, and got an average rating of 7.20. Thankfully, he is the person to fill up Pyunik's goalscoring (and assisting) woes from the right.
Next Update: Best Players of the season, and then after that: the 2015 Season, and no more yearly updates because I will start to update monthly.
Due to winning the league in 2013, we qualified for the 2014 (2014/15) Champions League Second Qualifying Round. I set a target for the Third Qualifying Round, but I would liked to have reached the play-offs because even if I lose, I get dumped into the Europa League Group Stage.
Here are the results:
First up, we had Israelian Champions Beitar Jerusalem.
A 2-1 win away from home set up an easy clash at the VSH Stadium in Armenia, as we eased past them with a 3-1 aggregate score.
As we went on to the Third Qualifying round, I looked at all the teams left. There were about 22 including us, and the hardest teams we had to face were either Celtic, Basel, Kobenhavn or BATE. Thankfully we didn't have to face any of them, but Croatian Champions Dinamo were the team we had to face.
We tied 0-0 away from home, an amazing result, but we lost at home 2-1. A bad result.
So the Europa League Play-offs was where we were placed...
We faced Bulgarian team Viktoria Plzen and we tied the first match 3-3 after going 3-0 down in the first half. A second-half hat-trick by Mkrtii saved our lives!
In the next match, we tied 2-2 and we went through on away goals.
We had quite a hard group, although I expected 2 wins against Austria Wien, conceding against them in the 90th minute while winning 1-0, and slipping up a 2-0 lead.
Sorry for it being too short, but I want to get the new season started.
Hopefully, the next update will be as if it was a fully new story.