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Ukrainian PL player possibly saves unconscious opponent’s life on field

Mar 30, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT

Kankava AP

Incredible yet relieving scenes from the Ukrainian Premier League today saw a potentially tragic situation turn to heroics.

After taking a vicious yet inadvertent knee to the head in the 20th minute, Ukrainian international and Dynamo Kiev captain Oleg Gusev lay unconscious on the ground.

Reacting immediately to the suddenly dangerous situation, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Jaba Kankava (pictured, left) rushed over to his opponent.

Video shows Kankava works without hesitation to remove Gusev’s tongue from blocking his airwaves, a move that likely paid massive dividends.

As soon as the tongue is moved from Gusev’s throat, the player immediately jolts to consciousness and begins to cough and kick violently.

Medical attention was still obviously required, as a dazed and clearly foggy Gusev was lifted by staff and players onto the stretcher, and there is no word on his current condition as of now, although he was apparently seen standing on the sidelines after being brought off.

The heroic actions of Kankava, which appeared to be almost instinctual, very likely avoided what could have been a much worse situation had Gusev gone some time without being able to breathe.

The visiting Dnipro ended up winning 2-0 behind a pair of goals from Matheus bookending the halftime break. With the win, Dnipro is tied with Shakhtar Donetsk for the league’s lead, while Dynamo Kiev sits two points back in third.

Dynamo’s match recap on their official website cited that “human life is above all” and wished Gusev a speedy recovery.

Here is video of the incident:

  1. mroveli - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Kankava is Georgian player not Ukrainian :)

  2. Kyle Bonn - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    I never referred to the nationality of Kankava

    • geojock - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      The title.

      • tridecagon - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        He’s a player in the Ukrainian PL. Not a Ukrainian player in the PL.

  3. moesmind - Mar 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    It is medically impossible to suffocate on your own tongue. Unless it is swollen from an allergic reaction or the like. It’s wonderful that he thought to do something, but you cannot choke on your tongue.

    • redrock81 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:09 AM

      @moesmind while its impossible to swallow your own tongue. it can block airflow when the throat muscle and tongue relax more than normal and can block airways. the same thing happens to sleep apnea sufferers too

  4. Nicholas Mendola - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    That’s just a nutty video. Great find, Kyle.

  5. qmari - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Are you refering to the legkicking at 0:22? Because if I’m not mistaken it’s not Dynamo Kiev’s Gusev that is violently kicking, but another player from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. You can recognize him by his white blue socks. Gusev wears just blue socks :)

  6. solutionc - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Who cares where he comes from, what lightening reactions to a potentially fatal collision, Must have sounded terrible but really smart to look in his mouth, either medically trained or has a family member with epilepsy – GREAT JOB

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