Going to World Cup is very important for Ukraine right now, asserts Andriy Shevchenko
Ukraine legend and former head coach Andriy Shevchenko believes that Ukraine’s clash against Scotland will mean so much more than just football for the country. Ukraine faces the Tartan Army in a play-off semi-final with the winner set to face Wales for a place at the 2022 World Cup.
While the focus has been on Ukraine over the last four odd months, few have forgotten the fact that the Blue and Yellows could earn a spot at the 2022 World Cup. However, before they can do that, Oleksandr Petrakov’s side have to face Scotland, beat the Tartan Army and then defeat Wales in the playoff final to make the cut. A much tougher run than anyone expected them to have especially given the fact that both Scotland and Wales are also looking to create history.
But for Ukraine, reaching Qatar would see them make only their second appearance at a World Cup since they achieved independence in 1991. It saw Andriy Shevchenko admit that the game against Scotland “is the hope of the country” as the game would mean so much more than football. The Ukraine legend further added that the team needs to “play for the fans, for the whole of Ukraine” and he “believes we can win and then beat Wales”.
"The Scotland match is the hope of the country. Going to the World Cup is very important for Ukraine right now. The motivation is incredible. In my opinion, we need to put the result away and just focus on the game,” Shevchenko said, reported the BBC.
"We need to play for the fans, for the whole of Ukraine, for those at home, for those defending the country and for those who left the country. I know the stadium will be full and the Scottish fans, as well as those who will watch the game around the world - Ukrainians or not - will be cheering. I believe we can win and then beat Wales to qualify for the World Cup. The players know what they have to do."