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.