Ukraine Situation Affects Football

Despite the chaotic situation in their country, the Ukrainian footballers are in good enough mindset to win matches at the international level. They were superb in the friendly game against Moldova a couple of days ago. Although, they won only by 1-0, but, they were in command for the full 90 minutes which suggests that their preparations are alright for the Euro qualifiers that are coming up.

However, in the qualifiers, the Ukrainians will have to handle much more quality opposition. They will have to up their level if they want similar positive results in those matches as well.

The teams which are in Ukraine’s Euro qualifying group are Belarus, Spain and Slovakia. Neither of these teams is weaker than Ukraine on any front. In fact, they are much stronger especially Spain which might have been knocked out from the World Cup early, but, is still a powerhouse in the game.

However, coming back to that match between Ukraine and Moldova, the stadium atmosphere there was not even close to electrifying. More than 80% seats were empty. There was no buzz around and that was expected given the situation in the Ukraine. People like to remain in their houses most of the time.

Although Ukraine played pretty well and no credit should be taken away for them, but, it’s also true that they were helped to a great extent by a reckless Moldovan side.

Had the man between the sticks for Moldova, that is Artem Fedetskyi, not stopped a few almost certain goals, the defeat margin could have been humiliating for the visitors.

The Moldovans have to take on Montenegro in their opening qualifier next week and there is no way that they are going to be able to even compete in that match if they play the way they did against Ukraine.