Ukraine’s dream run in the World Cup qualifiers came to an end as they were defeated by Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium. The game was decided by Andriy Yarmolenko’s own goal which was deflected on a Gareth Bale free-kick that sent Wales into their first World Cup in 64 years.
After the game, the Ukrainian team were extremely emotional as they thanked their fans as their country is still dealing with the ongoing Russian invasion. The Ukraine football team has been one the most important symbols of hope and togetherness for their country, especially after their win against Scotland.
Ukraine players with their fans at full-time 💙 💛 pic.twitter.com/eo0mjUdYit
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 5, 2022
In the post-match interview, Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov thanked all the players for their incredible performance and said, “I can only say thank you for everything they did for the team. I do not have any criticism to any of the players in the team. There is no need to touch any of the players. If you want to criticise, criticise me, the head coach. If the team wins, it is the players. If it loses, the only loser is the coach.”
“I think we did everything we could but I want the people of Ukraine to remember our team, our efforts. I want to say sorry we didn’t score but that is sport, that happens. I am lost for words, I don’t know what to say”, he further added.
Wales captain Gareth Bale deemed this moment the ‘greatest result in Welsh football history’. He said, “The result is the greatest in Welsh football history. We’re going to a World Cup! It means everything, what dreams are made of, we’ve been working towards it since I first came in here. Words can’t describe how we feel at the moment.”