Not this week. This week I was hoping for Wales and Scotland to lose to Ukraine in the World Cup qualifier. It all started well with a Ukrainian victory over Scotland in a rainy Glasgow, but they failed to get past Wales in Cardiff. In Glasgow, goals either side of half time put the visitors 0-2 up and seemingly cruising and playing some slick footy, but a late goal from McGregor made the final ten minutes exceedingly uncomfortable. The East Europeans finally killed the game off with a late counter-attack.
This set up the encounter in Cardiff nicely. The pressure was on both sides to deliver. For Wales, a first qualification in since 1958. For Ukraine, a chance to lift the country from the bitter sorrow they are suffering right now at the hands of the Russian invader. We all know what an appearance at a World Cup can do for a nation, what it can do to unify the people, to lift a nation's spirit. But it was not to be for Ukraine, unfortunately.
While against Scotland they were able to penetrate between the lines at will, it didn't work against Wales, who had obviously done their homework. I may be biased but I thought Zinchenko was superb in midfield. He always was available to take the ball and was skillful in using it. He was gutted at the end and was clearly emotional in his interview.
It emerged that they had received a flag from the soldiers on the frontline in the Donbas and had hung it in their dressing room for encouragement. It also emerged that some of the players are deeply embarrassed to avoid the draft, the president having said that they are needed more to keep the country's profile high in the world of sport.
The Ukrainians were very pleased with the support and sympathy from the Scots and Welsh publics, but must be super disappointed with the failure to qualify. So, congratulations to Wales. Another "home" team to cheer on at this winter's World Cup in Qatar.
I get that but after a 64 years absence from the tournament I sided with the WelshReplyDelete
As I did, Anthony and as a fellow Celtic nation will be rooting for them throughout the tournament The presence of Wales on the world stage is a potentially transformative moment for the country and its identity in that it could spark a nationalist revival (of the positive kind). I so love their national anthem; so unlike the dirge of GSTQ; the militarism of The Soldier's Song and the mawkishness of Flower of Scotland.ReplyDelete
there is something seriously uplifting about their national anthem.Delete
Me....I was glad Ukraine lost. I am tired of everyone giving them the sympathy vote...............Wales, I couldn't care less how they do as long as they beat EnglandReplyDelete
If It's not Norn Iron I'll support anyone v England lolReplyDelete
Wales - Best national anthem ever!ReplyDelete
I guess that you supported the Ukraine from 2014 to now, even though the Ukrainian military had murdered over 2000 unarmed women and children prior to the west getting involved?ReplyDelete
It was Russia who illegally annexed Crimea in 2014; sent their goons to take over the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk where even the majority of Russian speakers are happy to stay part of Ukraine; shot down a Malaysian airliner before invading the rest of the territory of Ukraine this year. 14,000 civilians had died in Russia's puppet republics since 2014; having seen Putin's MOs in Grozny and Aleppo and this year in Mariupol and other urban centres; it is a reasonable supposition that the majority of these deaths were inflicted by Putin's forces. Where did you pluck the figure of 2,000 from TJD; from RT or Sputnik or Infowars? And btw there was no western involvement prior to Putin's latest aggression this year. Do you honestly believe the rubbish that you write?Delete
No not at all. In 2016 I went to Lyon to see Our Wee Country against the Ukraine in the Euros and was definitely supporting Northern Ireland that day.