Oleksandr Zinchenko calls for peace after Ukraine miss out on World Cup spot to Wales
Posted by  badge Boss on Jun 06
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ukraine came so close to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup (Photo: Getty)

Oleksandr Zinchenko once again called for the world to come together in peace in his post-match interview following ’s defeat to Wales on Sunday.

Wales defeated Ukraine 1-0 in Cardiff to secure their place at the in Qatar later this year, the first time since 1958 that the Red Dragons have qualified for the tournament.

’s invasion of Ukraine earlier in the year had meant that the game was postponed from its original March date, and the loss was particularly devastating to the Ukrainian team who were aiming to lift spirits back in their homeland by reaching the World Cup for only the second time in their history.

After the game, star Zinchenko called for an end to the conflict, telling Sky Sports: ‘Everyone needs to fight on. We as football players need to represent our country as much, and as best, as we can.

‘We need to show the people that everyone needs to live in peace, and we need to stop the war all together because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Wales have reached their first World Cup since 1958 (Photo: Getty)

‘Today it’s Ukraine but tomorrow Russian aggression can be at your country so that’s why we need to be united and be together.’

As for the match itself, Ukraine largely dominated the play and created many good chances, with Zinchenko himself looking especially lively, but they were thwarted at every turn by a magnificent defensive effort from Wales, spearheaded by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and defender Ben Davies.

The decisive moment came in the 34th minute through a bizarre own-goal, after Andriy Yarmolenko’s attempt to head clear a Gareth Bale free-kick went badly wrong.

Yarmolenko thought he had made amends just minutes later when Joe Allen clipped the former West Ham winner in the box but, controversially perhaps, neither the referee nor VAR were moved.

‘Every one of us gave everything today, we left everything on the pitch,’ Zinchenko added.

‘In general, I don’t think we deserved to lose, but that’s football, it happens.

‘Football is about emotions, we can bring some great emotions to our fans, but unfortunately today we didn’t get the result we wanted.’

While the Welsh players and fans were naturally jubilant at full-time, they took time to applaud and show solidarity with the away team and fans.

At his post-match press conference, Ukraine’s manager Oleksandr Petrakov received a large round of applause and said: ‘I want to express my gratitude to Wales. I wish your team all the best in the World Cup and the whole of Ukraine is very grateful to Wales.

‘I think we did everything we could, but I really want the people in Ukraine to remember our team, our efforts.

‘I want to say sorry we didn’t score but this is sport.’

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