We fought to the end. The Ukrainian team failed to beat Italy

Well, here we are waiting for the next “match of life” for our team. A victory would give us direct access to Euro 2024, and a draw or defeat, even if it left us with a chance as a backup option through the playoffs, would have hit our self-esteem and pride too painfully.

In addition, there were bad feelings, since the national team players promised to give their all one hundred percent, and such promises, as a rule, were still for some reason constantly accompanied by poor play and non-fulfillment. As examples, we can recall the match with Croatia for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the play-off match against Wales for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, the game against Scotland a little later, when we could have gotten into Division A of the Nations League…

The starting line-up of our team surprised us a little with one position. No, not the right back, Konoplya’s output there was not something extraordinary. But apparently no one predicted Svatka’s appearance in the center of defense paired with Zabarny instead of Matvienko.

Getty Images/Global Images Ukraine

Our fellow countrymen did not sit back in defense, but ran to attack. Of course, they didn’t do this forgetting about the attack, but the high pressing was switched on right away. Italy was not ready for this, as a result of which the Ukrainians received the ball near the opponents’ penalty area. Somehow things didn’t work out very well with the passes to Dovbik in the penalty area, so we tried long-range shots. Donnarumma was on the spot, catching the ball after shots from Tsygankov and Sudakov.

And, of course, where would we be without Italian moments? Our defenders acted selflessly and quite skillfully, but vertical throws kept the Ukrainians on their toes and they allowed opponents to shoot dangerously, like Chiesa, for example. Fortunately, his aim was off. And Barella’s long-range strike was also very high quality, but Trubin got the ball from his right corner.

The high pressure in the second half of the half by the Ukrainians disappeared somewhere and difficult times came, which were survived thanks to Trubin, who eliminated Frattesi’s one-on-one situation, and luck when di Lorenzo missed the target after a corner, and Raspadori made a tackle by centimeters was late to miss Hemp’s cross from Chiesa’s flank.

By the way, Alexander Zinchenko regularly moved down as the fifth defender, shifting to the position of Mikolenko, who in turn went to help his partners in the center of defense.

Getty Images/Global Images Ukraine

In the last minutes of the half, the Ukrainians literally lay under the blows of their opponents in their own penalty area and did not allow them to soak the score before the break.

Summing up the half, it is worth noting the confident play of Anatoly Trubin and the not too confident play of Efim Konoplya, who lost his opponents on the flank and acted unconvincingly in attack. During the break he was expected to be replaced by Tymchik. Well, tactical changes were expected from Rebrov, until it was clear how we would defeat Italy.

However, Konoplya remained on the field, like the rest of the Ukrainian national team players. The opponents changed their forward; Scamacca replaced Raspadori.

The game continued at the same pace, but the “blue-yellows” managed to push the ball away from their goal. Trubin had to enter the game less often, but Donnarumma periodically got work. And in the 65th minute, the Italian goalkeeper frankly saved his team, parrying a shot from an acute angle from Mudryk.

Towards the end of the game, Ukraine pressed the “squadra”, there were no scoring chances, but it was nice to see how Italy openly defended against ours. Donnarumma, fixing the ball after exits, was slowly dragging out time. There were claims for a penalty after one of Mudryk’s falls, but the referee didn’t even bother to watch the replay.

Getty Images/Global Images Ukraine

In the end, Aleksander Čeferin’s dream came true as Italy qualified for the Euros thanks to a 0-0 draw. But Ukraine retains its chances, even if today it was not possible to win in a game for which there will be no shame, but we still have a backup way to get to the European Championship. We believe that everything will work out better and next year in Germany we will see Ukraine among the 24 best teams in Europe.

Euro 2024 qualification. Group C.

Ukraine – Italy – 0:0

Hemp (79) – Buongiorno (7)

Ukraine: Trubin, Mikolenko, Zabarny, Svatok (Malinovsky, 91), Hemp (Tymchik, 86), Stepanenko (Pikhalenok, 80), Mudrik, Zinchenko (Sikan, 86), Sudakov, Tsygankov (Zubkov, 80), Dovbik

Italy: Donnarumma, DiMarco, Buongiorno, Acerbi, Di Lorenzo, Barella, Jorginho (Cristante 71), Frattesi, Chiesa (Kean 81), Raspadori (Scamacca 46), Zaniolo (Politano 71; Darmian 92)

Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain)

BayArena Stadium (Leverkusen, Germany)


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2023-11-21 03:41:00

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