Defender of the Ukrainian national team and English Everton Vitaly Mykolenko commented on the draw in the Euro 2024 qualifying match with Italy (0:0), and also thanked the fans for recognizing him as “Lion of the Match”:
“Thank you for voting for me. But I would be glad now to receive not the “Lion of the Match”, but a ticket to the Euro. It was difficult to play such a game against Italy, but I think we performed well. We’re still in the game, waiting for the playoff draw, see you in four months.
It was important for us to prompt each other correctly. For me, as a defender, the synchronization between defenders and midfielders was important, because this is the Italian national team: if you don’t reach somewhere and do something wrong, you are immediately punished. This was the most important thing.
I won’t say that we lacked skill, don’t forget who we were playing against. Italy has always been famous for its good defense. Of course, it was difficult to find chances, and when there were, they were not realized. But I’m proud of my team, I’m happy to be around the guys every day.
Regarding the possible penalty, I did not see the episode. But Barella said he was played first with the ball and then with the foot. The referee said there was no penalty. If they have VAR and they don’t give a penalty, then I don’t think it happened.
The playoffs are ahead. I know we will be fit and ready for these fights.”
Despite the draw with Italy, Ukraine retains its chances of qualifying for the Euro thanks to the playoffs.
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