Wales 1-0 Ukraine recap: score, goals, highlights, 2022 World Cup play-offs
Ukrainian players receive flag from soldiers ahead of Wales clash
Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov says his players will hang a flag in their locker room handed to them by soldiers on the front line ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Wales later today.
Ukraine beat Scotland in the playoff semi-final at Hampden Park on Wednesday in their first match since the Russian invasion of their country, a victory which Petrakov dedicated to his compatriots defending the Ukrainian borders.
“It’s a really difficult situation in Ukraine, and not everyone has a chance to watch football, and not everyone watches football because of all the problems,” Petrakov said at a press conference on Saturday.
“Despite that, we’ll try to concentrate tomorrow and put on a good game.”
“Personally, I am not in communication with any of the soldiersbut the players of the team wrote to our soldiers, and they also received a war flag, which we promised to hang in the locker room.”
Victory over Wales on Sunday in Cardiff will give Ukraine a place in the World Cup final for only the second time as an independent nation, while Wales will have the chance to make their first appearance in 64 years old.
“I watched the coaching work of (Wales coach) Robert Page, and I noticed that the Welsh team cooperates well with very good players, especially Ramsey, Bale and James.
“I think everyone will have the chance to watch a great game.”
Petrakov said they expected no favors from their opponents.
“Sport is sport, and we are not expecting any handouts from Wales or an unfair victory,” he said.