April 8, 2021

Ukraine holds second place in group of World Cup qualifiers



Ukraine’s men’s national team for the 2020-2021 season.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Ukraine tied with Kazakhstan 1-1 on March 31 in a 2022 World Cup Group D qualifier in Kyiv. Roman Yaremchuk opened the scoring for Ukraine in the 20th minute, but Serikzhan Muzhikov equalized in the 59th minute. Ukraine tied 1-1 with Finland (third place, 2 points) on March 28 in Kyiv. Junior Moraes scored for Ukraine in the 80th minute, but Teemu Pukki leveled the score for the Finns in the 89th minute with a penalty kick.

Ukraine, in second place in Group D with three points after three matches (three draws, with three goals for and three against; Ukraine tied 1-1 against France on March 24), plays its second-leg match against Kazakhstan (fifth place, 1 point) on September 1, and against Group D leaders France (with 7 points) on September 4 in Kyiv, and against Finland on October 9 and against Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 12 and November 16. The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled for November 21 through December 18, 2022, in Qatar. Ukraine is competing among 55 countries in the European region.

International friendlies and Euro 2020 matches
Ukraine is set to play an international friendly match against Bahrain on May 23 in Kharkiv as part of preparations for the final stage of the Euro 2020 tournament. Ukraine also has scheduled friendly matches against Northern Ireland (June 3) and against Cyprus (June 7). Other scheduled friendly matches for 2021 include against the Czech Republic on September 8 and against Bulgaria on November 11.

In Group C of Euro 2020, Ukraine plays against the Netherlands (group hosts) on June 13, against North Macedonia on June 17 and against Austria on June 21.

Dynamo and Shakhtar exit Europa League
Dynamo Kyiv lost 0-4 on aggregate (0-2 on March 11, 0-2 on March 18) against Villareal (Spain) in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League. Shakhtar lost 1-5 on aggregate (0-3 on March 11, and 1-2 on March 18) against Roma. Dynamo is in first place (49 points) in the Ukrainian Premier League after 20 matches played. Shakhtar (42 points) is in second place. The first-place team qualifies to the UEFA Champions League group stage, and second-place finishers qualify to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Third place in the standings, held by Zorya Luhansk (35 points after 19 matches), qualifies to the UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round; fourth place, held by Desna Chernihiv (33 points after 20 matches), qualifies to the Europa League second qualifying round.

Top goal-scorers in the Ukrainian Premier League, as of April 3, included: Viktor Tsykhankov (Dynamo, with 10 goals, four of which were penalty kicks); Shahab Zhaedi (Olimpik/Zorya Luhansk, nine goals, two of which were penalty kicks); and Vladyslav Kulach (Vorskla Poltava, nine goals, three of which were penalty kicks).

Artem Bondarenko (FC Mariupol) scored a hat-trick against Inhulets Petrove on April 3, to win the match 4-3.

Women’s Euro 2020 and youth tournaments
Ukraine’s women’s team plays against Northern Ireland in Kovalivka on April 9 and on April 13 in Belfast as part of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2020 tournament. Ukraine advanced to the playoff round after it finished in second place in Group I with 15 points after eight matches played (five wins and three losses). Germany, undefeated in the group stage, topped the group standings with 24 points. The final stage of the tournament will be hosted by England on July 6-31, 2022.

Ukraine’s U-21 Euro 2023 team has drawn Group H with France, Serbia, North Macedonia, Faroe Islands and Armenia. The tournament is co-hosted by Romania and Georgia. Ukraine is scheduled to play against Serbia on September 3 and November 16, against France on October 8 and March 29, 2022, against North Macedonia on November 11 and June 7, 2022, against Faroe Islands on October 12 and June 2, 2022, and against Armenia on March 24, 2022, and June 2, 2022. The top team of each group advances to the final stage of the tournament, while second-place finishers advance to the playoff round.

The UEFA Women’s Under-19 and U-17 Championships have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcements came in late February and early March, after Ukraine was set to play in both tournaments.