The soccer field can be a brutal place where rivalries run strong, but a player recently put these differences aside and quickly performed an action that might have saved an injured opponent’s life.
Oleh Husyev, captain of the Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev, was accidentally kneed in the head and knocked unconscious by Dnipro goalie Denis Boyko on Sunday. Almost instantly, Dnipro midfielder Jaba Kankava noticed something was wrong and went rushing toward Kiev. He pried open Husyev’s mouth and cleared his airway to ensure he didn’t swallow his tongue.
Medics for both teams rushed onto the field to help Husyev, who was revived and helped onto a cart off the field.
Dynamo Kiev’s website (translated via Google Translate) said that Kankava “reacted as a professional ambulance surgeon.”
Watch Kankava step in to help make sure Husyev was able to breath:
“I have been such cases, so I know what to do,” Kankava said, according to Dynamo Kiev.
Kankava added that he doesn’t consider his efforts heroic.
“Maybe without me, everything would be fine,” he said. “The main thing to Oleg everything was fine.”
Goal, a soccer news site, reported that Husyev suffered a concussion of medium severity, a bruised face and some damaged teeth.
The Toronto Sun noted that while swallowing one’s tongue while unconscious is rare, it occurred in 2007 during the Carling Cup after a player was kicked in the face.
This post has been updated.