Dnipropetrovsk's Georgian midfielder Jaba Kankava possibly saved Dynamo Kiev midfielder Oleh Husev's life with his fast reactions after a potentially deadly incident during a Ukrainian top flight match at the weekend.
In the 22nd minute of Sunday's tie in Dnipropetrovsk, Husev was knocked down unconscious after a clash with the hosts' goalkeeper Denis Boiko. Kankava, standing nearest, rendered assistance to Husev by without hesitation removing Husev's tongue from blocking his airwaves.
The harrowing live pictures showed Kankava desperately trying to save Husev as alarmed players from both teams rushed to give assistance. The medics then arrived to give professional help.
Later reports said that Husev, who was rushed to a local hospital, declined to be hospitalised and returned to the stadium to join his teammates. The medics said that Husev lost a tooth, suffered concussion and a jaw fracture but that Kankava's reaction had possibly saved his life.
"The current state of Husev's of health is satisfactory," said the chief of Dnipropetrovsk hospital Boris Radutsky. "Husev is a strong and resolute guy and we expect that his medical recovery will not be for long.
"But I can assert that Kankava has saved Husev's life. It's hard to predict the consequences if Kankava didn't react so fast. Luckily, he acted like an experienced paramedic."
Dnipropetrovsk won the game 2-0.