Ex-forward of the blue-and-yellows – about the match Scotland – Ukraine
The results of the semi-final match of the play-off round of the World Cup Scotland – Ukraine assessed the ex-striker of the Ukrainian national team Andrey Sparrow.
– Andrei, how would you characterize the last match?
– First of all, I remember that in this most difficult period for our country, the players of the national team of Ukraine tuned in the right way for this game. Somewhere the guys compensated for the lack of physical condition with emotions and a desire to win. Victory in Glasgow has many fathers – the players, the coaching staff and the staff. Yes, some fans will say that the Scots did not show anything special. But I think it’s the merit of our players. An important factor in our victory, I think, was two episodes in the debut of the fight. Yaremchuk and Malinovsky received yellow cards, and everyone saw our attitude to this important game. All the fans saw: we are ready for the fight, we are not afraid of anyone – that was the mood of the Ukrainian football players.
– In what component of the game were our guys stronger than the hosts?
– In a team game. I believe that what Alexander Petrakov said to our players, they fulfilled. We ran counterattacks as quickly as possible, and when necessary, controlled the ball in the opponent’s half of the field, calming the opponent. Zinchenko, Malinovsky and Yarmolenko played using a pass, and when they lost the ball, they helped the defense.
The stands in Glasgow were indignant, and this affected the opponent even more. I think the first goal scored by Yarmolenko is a masterpiece. Malinovsky made a chic pass to Yarmolenko’s move, and only then Andrey’s individual skill brought us dividends. Here I want to note the game of our legionnaires: Mykolenko, Malinovsky, Zinchenko, Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk led the rest of the guys. Well, I was surprised by Zabarny and Matvienko, who played great in defense. Although there were mistakes: Bushchan and Stepanenko did not always act correctly, making unforced mistakes.
– Was it the best game of our team under the leadership of Alexander Petrakov?
“I think this is the best match in a long time. Everyone understood the importance of this meeting. Well, the ideal matches are ahead of the Ukrainian team.
– All the fans liked the game of Ilya Zabarny. He was strong in defense and went on the attack …
— Yes, Zabarny was good. It was important for him to secure our gates. He brought order. And all our defenders played at a good level.
– And what are the numerous mistakes of Georgy Bushchan connected with?
– He was nervous. It can be seen that he lacked playing conditions. Although he spent the starting 25 minutes successfully: he was good at the exit, and he gave accurate passes to his partners. George has no tone, hence the mistakes. If the championship of Ukraine was held, everything would be different.
– When our head coach made four substitutions, the Scots scored a goal. Maybe you can’t immediately change so many players at once, because team interactions are violated …
– I thought that the replacements should have been carried out even earlier. Some of our players are not so well prepared. I think we missed a ridiculous goal, it’s a series of mistakes and misunderstandings.
– And at the same time, all the players of the attacking line scored a ball against us.
– It is very good. It is clear that we have competition ahead of us. Everyone tried to do their job at the highest level. When I played for the Ukrainian national team, Andriy Shevchenko always scored. Now Andriy Yarmolenko always scores. No matter how the duel develops, Yarmolenko is our lifesaver. Maybe Andrei is not in optimal condition, he lacked strength somewhere, but he always fought on the football field.
– Andrei, with the score 2:1 in our favor, did you have to be nervous?
— Excitement was, I will not hide. Everyone got nervous, both the players and the coaches. After all, any rebound could make the score equal. I think it would be appropriate to say about Mikhail Mudrik. He is strong in attacking and counterattacking. But the fact that he does not work out in defense – this should not be. You need to give everything for the benefit of the Ukrainian national team. There was an episode – he lost the ball and walks back. Although just a few minutes ago he entered the field. I need to play through I can’t, the only way you can grow into a strong football player.
– There is a game in Cardiff ahead. Will three days be enough for our players to recover?
– Enough. Those who played in Glasgow will recover and the rest of the players will get a load. Much now depends on our medical headquarters. After the victory over Scotland, there is no need to soar in the clouds. Everyone understands that there will be a much more important meeting with Wales.
– Didn’t all emotions spill in Scotland?
– Not. Knowing Petrakov, he will be able to set the guys up in the right way.
What can you say about the Wales team?
“I know the Millennium Stadium. It can accommodate 74 thousand spectators. There support is even more significant than in Glasgow. The excitement on Sunday will be incredible. Wales is like Scotland. The same Brits.
– The leader of the Wales national team Gareth Bale has not played for Real Madrid for about three years. Does it give us an advantage?
– Not. In the team, he is in perfect order. He always has 2-3 chances in every game. He needs to be given maximum attention. He is the true leader of the Wales team.
– Are the chances of reaching the final part of the teams of Ukraine and Wales equal?
– Undoubtedly. Before the game, we are not favorites, as well as before the game in Scotland. But we need to please our fans, especially in such a difficult time. There are chances.
I am Sandra Jackson, a journalist and content creator with extensive experience in the news industry. I have been working in the news media for over five years. During this time, I have worked as an author and editor at various outlets producing high-quality content that attracts readers from different demographics.