Expert club Parimatch: star guests and goals for the final part of Euro 2020
Ukrainian Football Association and Official Partner of the National Football Team of Ukraine TM Parimatch continued the tradition of summing up the results of matches of the national team of Ukraine, which were held throughout 2019. During such events, journalists in an informal atmosphere can talk with representatives of the top management of Ukrainian football, well-known players, coaches, analysts and exchange views on the prospects of the main team.
On the occasion of our national wife's exit to the final part of Euro 2020, the last expert club this year became special. After all, his main guests were the players of the national team – Taras Stepanenko, Andriy Pyatov and Aleksandr Karavayev. The coaching staff of the blue and yellows was represented by Oleksandr Shovkovskyi, from the UAF – first vice-president Oleg Protasov, parimatch representative Vadim Misyura and traditionally as host and moderator of the event press attaché of the National team of Ukraine Oleksandr Hlyvynskyi, who before the club meeting invited journalists to predict future rivals of the Ukrainians in the final part of the Euro. The one who guesses the most opponents will receive two T-shirts of the National team of Ukraine with autographs of football players.
At the beginning of the meeting, the success of the Ukrainians, having not lost a single match in 2019, was noted by the first vice-president of the UAF Oleg Protasov, who expects that the upcoming year, 2020 will give the fans even more bright matches and good results from our national team. "The boys are good, they showed a fantastic result," said Oleg Protasov. – It was very interesting to watch every match of the national team, it was noticeable that the team has a great atmosphere, every player comes to the ranks of the national team with good motivation, with a good mood. We see that our cooperation with Parimatch turned out to be an apron, it turned out a good season. So we have to continue in the same direction. Football is our life, our experiences and emotions. So now we are waiting for the draw and thank the guys for those happy moments that they gave to the whole country.
In his turn, Parimatch representative Vadim Misyura also thanked the football players present at the event for a good result in the qualifying cycle and assured that close and fruitful interaction with the Ukrainian Football Association is just beginning with the last expert club this year. "With a great victory for us all. In this qualifying cycle, the National team of Ukraine showed the highest pilotage. It is especially important that we never lost last year. And it is very nice that the meeting of the Expert Club became the unchanging companion of the national team's successes. Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro and now the final meeting is again in Kiev. Our expert club is designed to unite such different football schools and views in one thing: to give an objective assessment of the games of the national team and the most interesting information for the media and fans. Thank you to all media partners for active participation and support," said Vadim Misyura.
Lisbon and Luxembourg
While journalists, experts and fans will "choose" the team of competitors for ukrainians in the group, at the meeting of the expert club Oleksandr Hlyvynskyi invited the audience to return in March 2019, when our team began their tournament path with the match against Portugal in Lisbon, and three days later in Luxembourg.
Olexandr Shovkovskyi: "I only joined the coaching staff of the National team of Ukraine at that time, but I immediately noticed what a great atmosphere and friendly team in the team. It was immediately noticeable that the team had a path that it chose. The boys listened carefully and most importantly, performed the tasks offered to them by the coaches. The difficulty of preparing for the game against Portugal in Lisbon was that we had only the beginning of the season and the Portuguese had already started their matches. But our team had a great desire to play successfully. As for the Luxembourg game, we saw that it was difficult to recover in three days, so there was a rotation. The game was difficult, as we expected. Due to desire, character, the guys scored the winning goal in the last minutes.
Andriy Pyatov: "Ronaldo? It wasn't as hard for me as our defenders. My main task as a goalkeeper was to stand in the place where the kick would be. That's how it turned out. He didn't score because he chose the position correctly."
Taras Stepanenko: We prepared a lot for this match, worked the pitch to leave the Portuguese space. There was luck on our part, played perfectly by Andrey Pyatov. But at the end of the game we even had a chance to win when Pepe prevented Moraes from striking."
Aleksandr Karavayev: "Of course it was difficult against Ronaldo. But our chance was to play compactly. We tried to use their mistakes. Behind our backs was Andrey Pyatov, who became the hero of that fight."
Recalling the middle of the qualifying cycle, both footballers and Alexander Shovkovskyi agreed that at that moment it was the Serbia national team that the Ukrainians considered our main competitor.
Olexandr Shovkovskyi: "For us, the difficulty of matches against Serbia in Lviv and luxembourg was that it was June and the end of the season. In my opinion, the key point was that Andriy Shevchenko a week before the first game summoned legionnaires to the national team, so that they did not lose tone, because they have already ended their championships. We carefully prepared for Serbia, studied the opponent, the strong qualities of their players. It was a great match, so we quite logically inflicted the defeat on the guests.
Oleksandr Karavayev: "The success of our team is that we come to the national team with other emotions. And before the match with the Serbs came in optimum condition. Then there was a difficult game with Luxembourg, but then we already found our game and we were hard to stop."
September: a chance to top the spot
According to the blue and yellow midfielder Taras Stepanenko, after the Ukrainian scored 10 points in the group, the team realized that there was a chance to fight for the first place in the group. "We were cheering then for the Portuguese to beat the Serbs. We played in Lithuania and the main problem was the fact that playing buda on an artificial lawn, which was not in a very good state. Fortunately, we won and played confidently there, after which we already dreamed of the first place in the group," Stepanenko said.
Portugal in Kiev
The most emotional in the qualifying cycle for the blue and yellows was the Ukrainian's home match against Portugal in Kiev.
Olexandr Shovkovskyi: "I hope we managed to surprise the Portuguese a little bit with our scheme for this game. Yaremchuk was on the left, and Marlos acted as a free artist. I think that the course of the game confirmed that the opponent did not expect it. Due to the correct defense, transition to attack, and compactness, we managed to fully control the course of this game until the 75th minute, until Taras Stepanenko and the referee decided to check the character of our team. But then we played our game anyway and there were moments when the Portuguese didn't know what to do on the pitch. They felt confused. Undoubtedly, there is considerable merit in the victory of our goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, who played perfectly at the last turn. After this match, we were already unattainable for the opponents in the group.
Taras Stepanenko: "This is the removal of… I then worked out such slings at Shakhtar's training sessions with Sergey Kryvtsov and we concluded that it was impossible to remove his hands in such a situation. It was hard for me to watch the end of the game. The fourth referee was driveing me off the steps of the stadium, so he watched the last minutes in the locker room. But I could not please completely, because I was very excited. But rested already when the team went to Serbia without me (laughs)."
Goals for Euro
According to the first vice-president of the UAF Oleg Protasov, in any case, ukrainians are waiting for a difficult but interesting group in the final part of the Euro: "It will be an interesting championship. For our part, we will do everything possible to ensure that the team and coaching staff continue to have excellent conditions for preparation. Together we hope that the national team will show the same good game as in the qualifying cycle.
Olexandr Shovkovskyi asked to wait for discussions on the chances and goals of the Ukrainians in the final part of the Euro to still enjoy the success that the team has won in the qualifying cycle. "Yes, we are hungry for serious success at such major tournaments, but there you need to play with a cold head and a hot heart," says assistant Andriy Shevchenko. – I am confident that the experience of Euro 2016, which seemed unsuccessful for Ukrainians, will help footballers in preparing for this Euro. I am sure that all those who will participate in the final of the championship will be tasked at least to leave the group. Therefore, we will also first of all strive to leave the group.
Andriy Pyatov, in turn, assured that despite the young age of some of his national team partners, these guys will not burn over, arriving at such a big tournament: "Zinchenko plays for Manchester City, Malinowski in Italy, Mykolenko is not afraid of anyone at all… Therefore, I do not see someone who can "burn". We will still have time to prepare, there will be games in euro cups at clubs, there will be a gathering in March. Therefore, our readiness will be evaluated before the start of the Euro".
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