CARDIFF — Ukraine’s soccer workforce misplaced to Wales 1-0 Sunday, dashing the war-torn nation’s hopes of constructing it to the World Cup in Qatar and disappointing followers who stated following the workforce had introduced distraction and pleasure to the nation amid Russia’s invasion.
The sport at Cardiff Metropolis Stadium was the ultimate recreation to resolve the remaining European spot within the event this winter, and was solely Ukraine’s second aggressive match for the reason that invasion started on February 24. The outcomes imply Wales will head to the World Cup for the primary time in 64 years, joined by England, the U.S. and Iran, amongst others.
The profitable aim for Wales — an personal aim by Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who headed a free-kick from Gareth Bale into his workforce’s personal internet — was significantly devastating for Ukraine followers.
“We don’t deserve this,” stated Petro, a Ukraine fan who had traveled down from York to look at the match along with his mom. “On the last whistle, it was simply silent. Ukrainian individuals have been by a lot, and now this.”
A bunch of dejected supporters draped in Ukrainian flags exterior the stadium stated at full time they have been upset by the consequence.
“We’re unhappy. We’re very unhappy,” stated one supporter who had traveled down from London for the sport.
Ukrainian ace Oleksandr Zinchenko, who additionally performs for Manchester Metropolis within the Premier League, had stated earlier than the sport it was his “dream” to achieve the World Cup finals. He stated after the match he felt sorry for the supporters who had adopted the workforce.
“I really feel sorry as effectively for them and supporters from world wide who supported us. You can not blame the gamers, each considered one of them gave the whole lot on the pitch,” he informed Sky Sports activities. “However that’s soccer, it could actually occur.
“Everybody must dwell in peace,” he added. “We have to cease the warfare altogether, you by no means know what’s going to occur. Right now is Ukraine, however tomorrow, Russian aggression might be along with your nation.”
Some 2,000 Ukrainian followers made the journey to Cardiff for the match after their workforce beat Scotland in a decisive 3-1 win on Wednesday within the play-off semi-final.
Two Ukrainian followers, Yulia and Ana, 25 and 24 respectively, stated Sunday’s recreation was their first-ever soccer match.
“We’re simply glad to be right here and help Ukraine in any case. Profitable or not doesn’t matter. We’re simply joyful to be right here and really feel the environment,” Yulia stated.
The pair, who moved to Cardiff from Kharkiv every week in the past, stated that they had appreciated help from Welsh followers.
“We have been actually impressed by the help from Wales. I used to be crying,” Yulia stated.
In the meantime, Wales followers stated they have been thrilled to get to their first World Cup since 1958.
“I’m ecstatic, to be sincere,” stated Rhys Morgan, 29, from Llanelli in south Wales. “We’re such a small nation. To be up there with the large boys is wonderful.”
He added: “Particularly this weekend with the [queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration], we’re usually ignored utterly as a nation inside the U.Ok. Little previous Wales, who’re a footnote for the federal government in Westminster … it’s actually particular.”