Football: Soccer-Ukraine players gifted flag by soldiers ahead of Wales showdown

CARDIFF (Reuters) – Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov stated his players would cling a flag of their dressing room given to them by soldiers on the frontline earlier than their World Cup playoff in opposition to Wales on Sunday.

Ukraine beat Scotland of their playoff semi-final at Hampden Park on Wednesday of their first sport for the reason that Russian invasion of their nation, a victory which Petrakov devoted to his compatriots defending the Ukrainian borders.

“It is a very exhausting scenario in Ukraine, and never everyone has an opportunity to look at soccer, and never everyone watches soccer as a result of of all the issues,” Petrakov advised a information convention on Saturday.

“Despite this, we are going to attempt to focus tomorrow and have an amazing sport.”

“Personally, I’m not in communication with any of the soldiers, however players within the workforce wrote to our soldiers, they usually additionally acquired a flag from the warfare, which we have promised to hold up within the dressing room.”

A win in opposition to Wales on Sunday in Cardiff will earn Ukraine a spot within the World Cup finals for simply the second time as an impartial nation, whereas Wales have the prospect to make their first look in 64 years.

“I’ve watched the teaching work of (Wales coach) Robert Page, and I’ve famous that the Welsh aspect cooperates properly with excellent players, particularly Ramsey, Bale and James.

“I believe that tomorrow everybody could have an opportunity to look at an amazing sport.”

Petrakov stated they’re anticipating no favours from their opponents.

“Sport is sport, and we do not count on any presents from Wales or an unfair win,” he stated.

“We know the way exhausting will probably be in opposition to them. This is a very powerful match in our lives. We actually want to win, and we are going to do the whole lot attainable to get a victory.”

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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