FC Guria Lanchkhuti

FC Guria is a Georgian Association football club from Lanchkhuti, currently competing in Liga 3, the third division of Georgian football league.

Guria Lanchkhuti
FC Guria Lanchkhuti logo.jpg
Founded1924
GroundEvgrapi Shevardnadze Stadium, Lanchkhuti, Georgia
Capacity8,000
PresidentKakhaber "Kakha" Ebralidze
Head CoachGiga Imedaishvili
LeagueLiga 3
20205th

HistoryEdit

Early periodEdit

Formed in 1924[1] as FC Kimi, the team ceased to exist after the start of World War 2 and resumed functioning in 1952 under the name "Kolmeurne".

In 1960 the club was renamed as Guria. The next year they gained a first title by becoming champions of the republican league. During the subsequent decade the team won the Georgian Cup three times and the domestic league two more times, in 1966 and 1971, which enabled them to advance to the Soviet Association football.[2]

1972-79, the Soviet second leagueEdit

Starting from 1972 Guria played in the Second League, the third tier of the Soviet football league, for seven years.

In II league after each season
YEAR MP W D L GD P FP
1972 36 12 7 17 46-49 31 13th
1973 34 13 5 16 52-52 31 8th
1974 38 10 17 11 56-53 37 11th
1975 34 18 5 11 62-47 41 3rd
1976 38 21 10 7 67-34 52 1st*
1977 42 22 7 13 91-57 51 4th
1978 46 24 11 11 82-48 59 2nd
1979 46 31 4 11 110-50 66 1st

*Note: Lost promotion play-offs to Uralmash Sverdlovsk

Overall results shown by Guria in II League are the following:

MP W D L GD
314 151 66 97 566:390

Guria's remarkable progress was largely attributed to Shalva Kakabadze, who worked as head coach for record twenty years continuously from 1959 until 1980, and local government chairman Evgrapi Shevardnadze, brother of the Soviet Communist Party leader in Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze.[3]

1980-1986, road to the top-flightEdit

After the winning season in 1979 Guria were promoted to the First League, where they played for another seven consecutive years. 

In I League after each season
YEAR MP W D L GD P FP
1980 46 18 10 18 68-73 46 11th
1981 46 16 13 17 50-56 44 14th
1982 42 15 7 20 48-67 37 18th
1983 42 19 4 19 52-71 42 9th
1984 42 16 10 16 49-52 42 10th
1985 38 15 7 16 50-52 37 17th
1986 46 28 5 13 80-66 61 1st

The very fact of promotion to the Soviet Top League for the team representing a provincial town seemed amazing. Football fervour around Guria grew so high that in most cases not a single seat was available during their matches and some youngsters would climb up trees around the stadium to watch their favourite team. The pitch invasion during the 2-1 win over fierce rivals FC Daugava Riga resulted in disqualification of the stadium for three matches. For this reason the final home game of the season against Yuri Semin's Lokomotive Moscow (1-0) was held in Batumi in front of 20 000 spectators.[4]

Under head coach Begi Sikharulidze some players especially contributed to this huge achievement:[5] Besik Pridonashvili with all 46 games played and 27 goals scored; Teimuraz Chkhaidze - 44 (8); Murman Akopian - 43 (7); Badri Danelia - 43 (1); Levan Melikia - 41; Vakhtang Kopaleishvili - 40 (16); Sergey Shvetsov - 40 (1); Enuki Tevzadze - 39 (5); Tariel Ebanoidze - 37 (1); Gigla Imnadze - 36; Alexander Kondratiev - 36; Merab Tevzadze - 30 (1); Gia Giligashvili - 26; Karlo Mchedlidze - 12; Davit Ugrelidze - 11 (5).

1987, the Top leagueEdit

Straight away after the promotion the football ground underwent a significant reconstruction and eventually the capacity of stadium in a town with 9 021 residents as of 1987 reached 22 000.[6]

Between 1983/84 and 1987/88 seasons the USSR occupied a second place after Italy in UEFA ranking,[7] therefore, the Soviet Top League was a tough challenge for Guria. Being regarded as a decent home team, Guria beat Kairat Alma-Ata 2-0, Neftchi 1-0, Dinamo Minsk 2-1, Dinamo Moscow 2-1 and Ararat Yerevan 2-0, also played goalless draws against Dinamo Kiev, Dinamo Tbilisi and future bronze medal holders Zalgiris, although poor results in away games doomed the club for relegation.

1988-89, promotion battlesEdit

In 1988 Guria did not succeed in a new promotion attempt, finishing in the 4th place, but the team still made headlines with a shock victory over Dinamo Kiev (2-1) in the Cup 1/16 finals.[8] The next year the Gurians once again displayed their powerful home run by winning all 21 games held in Lanchkhuti and earned a place in the Soviet Top League as runners-up of the 1989 season.[9]

However, Guria were no longer destined to play again in the Soviet championship. On 15 February 1990 Georgian Football Federation made a decision to break away from the Soviet Football Federation, withdraw all the teams from the Soviet leagues and form its own national championship with immediate effect.[10]

1990-2020, Georgian leaguesEdit

By entering Umaglesi Liga competition a new stage opened up for Guria. First several years they remained high-flying, winning the Georgian Cup title in 1990 and silver medals in 1990 and 1991. Later the decline started which saw the club moving up and down the first three divisions several times.

Their very name was subjected to changes, becoming Guria-Lokomotive-2 after the merger with Locomotive's reserve team in 2001, and Guria-2000 in 2008. In 2009 the team regained their popular name.

In the 2016 season Guria played in the top Georgian division, but within two years they slumped to Liga 3. Although the next year the team managed to go up for 2019, after play-offs against FC Aragvi they were relegated again.[11]

Throughout the shortened 2020 season Guria appeared poised for promotion. Yet, decisive last two games lost to direct rivals spelled failure for their main goal.[12]


SeasonsEdit

Season League Pos. Pl. W D L GF GA P Cup Notes Manager
1987 Top League 16 30 5 8 17 18 38 18 Relegated   Mykhaylo Fomenko
1988 First League 4 42 23 7 12 71 44 53   Mykhaylo Fomenko
1989 First League 2 42 27 9 6 78 39 63   Mykhaylo Fomenko
1990 Umaglesi Liga 2 34 22 6 6 73 20 72 Winner   Murtaz Khurtsilava
1991 Umaglesi Liga 2 19 14 4 1 38 15 46   Murtaz Khurtsilava
1991–92 Umaglesi Liga 4 38 22 3 13 89 56 69 Round of 16   Murtaz Khurtsilava
1992–93 Umaglesi Liga 12 32 12 2 18 37 57 38 Round of 16   Murtaz Khurtsilava
1993–94 Umaglesi Liga 2 (west) 14 9 0 5 36 22 27 Quarter-finals   Teimuraz Chkhaidze
1994–95 Umaglesi Liga 13 30 8 6 16 36 81 30 Quarter-finals   Gigla Imnadze
1995–96 Umaglesi Liga 13 30 9 0 21 35 74 27 Round of 32   Begi Sikharulidze
1996–97 Umaglesi Liga 13 30 10 3 17 33 63 33   Boris Dudarov /   Gigla Imnadze
1997–98 Umaglesi Liga 14 30 6 9 15 30 58 27 Round of 16   Avtandil Nariashvili /   Gia Tavadze
1998–99 Umaglesi Liga 16 30 3 4 23 34 87 13 Relegated
1999–00 Regionuli Liga
2000–01 Pirveli Liga
2001–02 Umaglesi Liga 10 22 3 6 13 14 44 15 Quarter-finals Relegated
2002–03 Pirveli Liga Second round
2003–04 Pirveli Liga 10 30 13 6 11 38 37 45 First round
2004–05 Pirveli Liga 10 30 10 8 12 30 45 38 First round
2005–06 Pirveli Liga 9 34 14 5 15 50 47 47 Round of 32
2006–07 Pirveli Liga 15 34 8 7 19 36 76 31 First round Relegated
2007–08 Meore Liga West 2 22 15 6 1 49 17 51 Promoted
2008–09 Pirveli Liga 6 14 7 2 5 24 21 23 Round of 16
2009–10 Pirveli Liga 4 28 16 5 7 53 32 53 First round   Gia Chkhaidze
2010–11 Pirveli Liga 6 32 14 4 14 50 59 46 First round   Gigla Imnadze
2011–12 Pirveli Liga B Zona 2 18 12 3 3 41 15 39 Round of 32   Gigla Imnadze
2012–13 Pirveli Liga A Zona 1 33 27 4 2 86 20 85 Quarter-finals Promoted   Temur Loria
2013–14 Umaglesi Liga 6 32 12 00 20 31 53 36 Round of 16   Davit Makharadze /   Roman Pokora
2014–15 Umaglesi Liga 9 30 10 9 11 38 43 39 Round of 32
2015–16 Umaglesi Liga 11 30 6 9 15 28 49 27 Round of 16
2016 Umaglesi Liga 6 (group white) 21 3 2 7 8 21 11 Round of 16 Relegation play-off, lost
2017 Liga 2 8 36 11 4 21 47 68 37 Round of 16 Relegation play-off, lost
2018 Liga 3 3 38 21 10 7 59 31 73 Round of 8 Promotion play-off, won
2019 Liga 2 8 36 10 6 20 39 64 36 Round of 16 Relegation play-off, lost
2020 Liga 3 5 18 8 2 8 26 30 26 Round of 32

Club honoursEdit

Personal honoursEdit

In early 2020 by decree of the Georgian Ministry of Sport Begi Sikharulidze, Teimuraz Chkhaidze and Gigla Imnadze were awarded the Knight of Sport title for their distinguished contribution to Guria's victorious season in 1986.[13]

A year later Begi Sikharulidze was awarded the title Honorary Citizen of Lanchkhuti.[14]

Current squadEdit

As for July 2019[15]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   GEO Otar Sturua
3 DF   GEO Lasha Khachapuridze
4 DF   GEO Mamia Zhvania
5 DF   GEO Dimitri Virubovi
6 MF   GEO Lasha Kotrikadze
7 MF   GEO Tamaz Lomsadze
9 FW   GEO Vano Tsilosani
10 FW   GEO Levan Papava
10 MF   GEO Teimuraz Sharashenidze
11 MF   GEO Nika Nariashvili
12 MF   GEO Valeri Olkhovi
13 FW   GEO Giorgi Ebralidze
15 MF   GHA Emanuel Iagri
16 MF   FRA Aleksandre Api
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF   GEO Vakhtang Tabidze
18 MF   CMR Paskal Alima Alima
19 MF   GEO Gogi Gogichaishvili
20 MF   GEO Grigol Pirtskhalava
21 GK   GEO Lasha Gordulava
22 MF   GEO Sandro Bakhia
23 MF   GEO Saba Chichinadze
24 MF   GEO Lasha Kukulava
25 MF   GEO Giorgi Potelidze
27 MF   GEO Aleksandre Shengelia
30 MF   GEO Giorgi Janjghava
31 GK   GEO Giorgi Sulaberidze
32 MF   GEO Vano Kurdghelashvili
33 GK   GEO Gabriel Tebidze

Former playersEdit

Topscorers by seasonEdit

Season Name Goals
1966–67   Omar Pertenava 16
1967–68   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 23
1968–69   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 17
1969–70   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 18
1970–71   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 39
1971–72   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 13
1972–73   Joni Abaishvili 19
1973–74   Vakhtang Dzidziguri 15
1974–75   Revaz Sanaia 25
1975–76   Besik Mchedlishvili 20
1976–77   Vasil Troian 18
1977–78   Vasil Troian 15
1978–79   Merab Megreladze 26
1979–80   Merab Megreladze 20
1980–81   Merab Megreladze 11
1981–82   Temur Ebanoidze 9
1982–83   Murtaz Akophiani 14
1983–84   Vakhtang Kopaleishvili 13
1984–85   Gia Tkebuchava 11
1985–86   Besik Phridonashvili 27
1986–87   Viktor Khlus 5
1987–88   Viktor Khlus 21
1988–89   Merab Zhordania 25
1989–90   Otar Korghalidze 21
1990–91   Otar Korghalidze 14
1991–92   Otar Korghalidze 40

ManagersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesg/georfound.html
  2. ^ Football 1987. Tbilisi: Georgian Federation of Sport reporters. p. 92.
  3. ^ "Shalva Kakabadze recalls Guria's glorious years". Gurianews, 25 Jan 2012.
  4. ^ "Celebrating 25th anniversary". Gurianews, 14 Oct 2011.
  5. ^ "Guria in 1986". teams.by.
  6. ^ "Unusual stories around Guria of 1980s". sports.ru (in Russian) 23 Apr 2020.
  7. ^ "UEFA ranking". mogiel.net.
  8. ^ "USSR 1988-89 Cup". wildstat.com.
  9. ^ "The Soviet First league in 1989". soccer365.ru.
  10. ^ "Georgia after the independence". ua.tribuna.com 23 Mar 2020.
  11. ^ "Guria vs Aragvi". GFF.
  12. ^ "Liga 3 results in 2020". gff.ge.
  13. ^ "Acknowledgement of the past season". Gurianews,10 Jan 2020.
  14. ^ "The legend of Guria awarded a honorary title". Gurianews. 15 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Players". Erovnuliliga. Retrieved 14 August 2019.

External linksEdit