Ukrainian teams in UEFA Champions League
Shakhtar Donetsk played a 0-0 draw on December 9 against Inter Milan in Milan to finish in third place (eight points) in Group B of the UEFA Champions League. Shakhtar won 2-0 against Real Madrid on December 1 in Kyiv, and lost 0-4 to Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach on November 25 at Borussia-Park in Monchengladbach. Real Madrid finished the group in first place (10 points), followed by Monchengladbach (eight points), and Inter in fourth place (six points). Although Shakhtar tied with the German club on points in the group stage, the German club was ahead on goal differential (Shakhtar at -7 and Monchengladbach +7). Dynamo Kyiv, in Group G, finished in third place in the group after six matches played, with four points. Dynamo won 1-0 against Ferencvaros (Hungary) on December 8 (with the lone goal scored by Denys Popov in the 60th minute), lost 0-4 against Barcelona on November 24 in Kyiv, lost 1-2 in the away match against Barcelona on November 4, tied 2-2 with Ferencvaros on October 28, and lost 0-2 against Juventus (Italy) on October 20. In the playoff stage leading up to the group stage, Dynamo won 3-0 against Gent (Belgium) on September 29 and won 2-1 against the Belgian club on September 23, with a 5-1 aggregate score to advance to the group stage. Dynamo and Shakhtar advance to the Round of 32 playoff stage of the Europa League, with the draw for matches scheduled for December 14 at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Shakhtar is among the seeded teams, and Dynamo in the unseeded group. Matches are scheduled for February 18 and 25 in home-away two-leg matches. Winning teams will advance to the Round of 16, with the draw to be announced on February 26.
Ukraine draws Group D in 2022 World Cup
Ukraine has drawn Group D with France, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan during the FIFA World Cup draw on December 7 in Zurich. Each group winner, out of 10 groups of European national teams, qualifies for the World Cup. The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is scheduled for November 21 through December 18, 2022.
Ukraine forfeits match against Switzerland
The UEFA Appeals Body has declared the Nations League match between Switzerland and Ukraine, which was to be played on November 17, as forfeited by the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF). The UEFA Appeals Body considered the arguments of both parties and did not accept those from Ukraine. Ukraine is deemed to have lost the game 3-0. UEFA ruled that the Ukrainian side was responsible for the match not taking place. UAF Secretary General Yurii Zapisotskyi said the ruling could be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. The match did not take place due to the decision by Swiss doctors to put the entire Ukrainian squad into quarantine after several players tested positive for COVID-19. The UAF said it would not have time to send a new team to play the match on the next day. The ruling relegated Ukraine from the Nations League’s top tier (League A). Ukraine finished in fourth place in Group 4, with six points after six matches played, to tie with Switzerland on points. Ukraine lost 1-3 against Germany on November 14 in Leipzig, won 1-0 against Spain on October 13 in Kyiv, and lost 1-2 against Germany on October 10 in Kyiv. (Additional scores can be found in the Sports Shorts section of the October 4 issue of this year.)
Zorya Luhansk in UEFA Europa League
Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk defeated Greece’s AEK 3-0 on November 26 in Athens in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. Clinching the win for Zorya were Artem Hromov (61th minute), Vladyslav Kabayev (71st) and Vladlen Yurchenko (86st minute, penalty kick). AEK’s Yevhen Shakhov was sent off in the 49th minute. Zorya is tied for fourth place with Athens, with three points each after four matches played. Zorya lost 0-3 against Leicester (England) on October 22 in England, lost 1-2 against Braga (Portugal) on October 29 in Zaporizhia, and lost 1-4 against Athens on November 5 in Zaporizhia. Zorya won 1-0 against Leicester on December 3 in Zaporizhia and played against Braga on December 10 in Protugal, with scores to appear in the next installment of Sports Shorts.
Women’s team in second place in EURO 2022
Ukraine is in second place in Group I of the UEFA Euro 2022 qualifying round after eight matches played, with 15 points. Germany tops the group with 24 points, followed by Ireland (13 points), Greece (seven) and Montenegro (zero points). Ukraine won 2-1 against Montenegro on December 1, won 4-0 against Greece on October 27 in Athens, won 1-0 against Ireland on October 23 in Kyiv, won 4-0 against Greece on October 27 in Athens, won 4-0 against Greece on September 22 in Kyiv, and won 3-1 against Montenegro on September 18 in Podgorica. In 2019, Ukraine lost 2-3 against Ireland on October 18 in Dublin, lost 0-8 against Germany on October 5 in Aachen, and lost 0-8 against Germany in Lviv. The draw for the final tournament stage will be made in England, with the hosts England joined by 15 qualifying teams (thus far, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden confirmed), and matches on July 6-31, 2022.
Ukraine in Pot 2 of Euro 2022 qualifying draw
Ukraine, in Pot 2 of the UEFA Euro-2022 qualifying round draw, awaits its placement in the qualifying round. The draw is scheduled for December 7 in Zurich.
U-21 team in third place in Group 8
Ukraine is in third place in Group 8 of the UEFA Under-21 Championships with 16 points after 10 matches played. Ukraine won 3-0 against Northern Ireland on November 17 in Kovalivka, won 4-1 against Malta on November 13 in Ta Qali, lost 0-1 against Northern Ireland on October 13 in Ballymena, won 1-0 against Romania on October 9 in Kyiv, and won 2-0 against Finland on September 8 in Helsinki. After 10 matches played, Ukraine won five matches, lost 4 and tied one match.
Kharkiv in Round of 32 of Champions League
Ukraine’s women’s team advanced to the Round of 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after the team won 2-0 against Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina) on November 19 in Zenica during the second qualifying round. Kharkiv won 9-0 against Alashkert (Armenia) on November 4 in Kyiv in the first qualifying round. In the Round of 32, Kharkiv won 2-1 against BIIK-Kazygurt (Kazakhstan) in Poltava on December 9, and plays again against Kazygurt on December 16 in Shymkent.
Malinovskyi rated most-valuable player
Ukraine and Atalanta (Italy) midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi is rated as the most valuable Ukrainian football player, according to rankings released by Transfermarkt. The German-based website valued the 27-year-old at 21 million euros, which makes him the most expensive Ukrainian footballer. Malinovskyi climbed to first place after Manchester City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko saw his value fall by 4 million euros, to 20 million euros. Dynamo Kyiv midfielder Viktor Tsygankov is the third most-expensive Ukrainian footballer. He is valued at 19 million euros. Two Dynamo players and three Shakhtar Donetsk players are in the top-10 of the rankings.
Kherson advances to knockout round
Kherson won 28-1 against Rosario (Northern Ireland) on November 28 in Odesa as part of the preliminary round of the UEFA Futsal Champions League. Kherson advances to the knockout round, and on December 9 had drawn Shkupi 1927 (Macedonia). Ukraine is among 32 teams that will play single-leg matches on January 12-17. If Kherson wins from the Round of 32, matches for the Round of 16 are scheduled for February 16-21, and the final stage in April-May 2021.
Youth team wins 15 medals
Ukraine’s youth boxing team won second place at the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva, Montenegro, on November 22. Out of 20 boxers, Ukraine won 15 medals – three gold (Yurii Zakharieiev, 69 kg; Illia Tohobytskyi, 75 kg; Mykyta Gorbatenko, 91 kg), five silver (Roman Litvinov, 52 kg; Vasyl Tkachuk, +91 kg; Maryna Stoiko, 64 kg; Anna Sezko, 69 kg; Yana Taranenko, 81 kg) and seven bronze medals (Danylo Dryzhak, 49 kg; Hennadii Maslennikov, 60 kg; Bozorboi Matyakubov, 64 kg; Denys Salabai, 81 kg; Kateryna Bodnarchuk, 54 kg; Raisa Piskun, 75 kg; Viktoriia Levchuk, +81 kg).
Berinchyk defends WBO title
WBO international lightweight champion Denys Berinchyk (14-0, 8 KO) defeated Romanian Viorel Simion (22-4, 9 KO) and defended his WBO title at the Equides Club near Kyiv on October 8. Berinchyk stopped Simion after seven rounds when his opponent refused to continue the fight. Prior to that, the Romanian boxer was knocked down twice in previous rounds. Berinchyk defended his WBO international lightweight title for the fourth time, and the fight was scheduled for 10 rounds.