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An exciting battle before Euro 2024 and an emotional boost: Moldova-Ukraine match review

Artem RossinskySport
Ukraine checks its players' readiness before Euro

There are only a few days left until Euro 24. Ukraine completed its preparations for this tournament yesterday. After the friendly games with the Germans and Poles, we played Moldova. The easy victory was archived not without an injury to a key player and uncertainty about what the team can do when it is under strong pressure from aggression rather than good play. OBOZ.UA tells you all the details of the last match before the European Championship.

Team lineups

Ukraine: Lunin, Mykolenko, Matviienko, Zabarnyi, Konoplya, Stepanenko, Tsyhankov, Shaparenko, Sudakov, Mudryk, Yaremchuk

Moldova: Railean, Posmak, Baboglo, Craciun, Reabciuk, Cojocaru, Ionita, Rata, Damascan, Motpan, Nicolaescu

First half. A solid start with a minor injury

Ukraine was the absolute favorite of the game, and it showed it from the first minutes. The players immediately set up on the wide flank and tried to turn the field into a good opportunity with five of them. This resulted in a quick goal: the strikers were able to appear behind the defenders and wait for a pass or a mistake. Yaremchuk took advantage of this perfectly when Baboglo cut back and our striker scored a powerful shot under the crossbar.

An exciting battle before Euro 2024 and an emotional boost: Moldova-Ukraine match review

In this game, the defense rested, although there were several interesting throws from the hosts to the left flank. But they went into Mykolenko's area, where there was either no accuracy or Vitaliy himself was clamping down on opponents. Our presence near the opponent's penalty area was almost constant, but we needed to create more chances. Zabarnyi often went to the center, looking for a short slashing pass to the forward. The scheme was bold as only two players were left behind, and not always center backs.

Out of the blue, we lost Mykolenko. Craciun's roll was an ordinary game episode, but it hit our defender's right leg and the relapse returned. The defender, after the help of doctors, was able to reappear on the field, but leaned on his right leg again after some time and immediately fell down in pain. Zinchenko came on as a substitute, although there were doubts about his actions again.

Sudakov adapted well to the turmoil. His delayed role, looking for someone up front, worked very well throughout the match: he and Mudryk exchanged passes perfectly and at the end of the first half the winger had a great opportunity to score himself. They cut through the four-man defense very easily and Mykhailo went to the penalty area, but he was still closed down and the shot did not turn out to be powerful. But the work with Tsyhankov was more successful: Viktor went down the center by himself, played with his teammate and, after processing the ball, scored a clear shot into the far corner.

An exciting battle before Euro 2024 and an emotional boost: Moldova-Ukraine match review

The result of the half was Rebrov's emotions. Against a frankly weaker team, Ukraine should have been much more active and bold. But one attack attempt from the opponent and the loss of our main defender seemed to break our faith in ourselves. We had to take more action.

Second half. Ukraine initiates a tough battle that almost leads to a fight

For the second half, Rebrov made an interesting substitution: if against Germany Dovbyk came on at the end of the game, when the other top players had already gone to rest, now he was directly involving Artem with the main players of the national team. It took only 4 minutes to see that this decision was a right one: Sudakov saw an opportunity and passed the ball to the forward, where the Girona player did a great job of dealing with the goalkeeper and scoring in the near corner.

The whole match was an opportunity for individuals. Mudryk - to run out more often with his signature sprints; Sudakov - to link the flanks and pass the ball forward; Tsyhankov - to appear in the center after his moves to this area. Even Konoplya and Shaparenko had successful attempts. All the players were involved in the development of attacks. By the way, Heorhiy achieved his goal and the line with Dovbyk worked the other way around: a one-touch assist from the striker and Sudakov scored against the Moldovan goalkeeper.

An exciting battle before Euro 2024 and an emotional boost: Moldova-Ukraine match review

The unpleasant outcome of the game was the dirty play of the Moldovans, as if their participation in the Euro playoffs depended on this match. It did not look like a freight train at all: impudence and hard tackles were more frequent than attempts at organized defense and structured attacks. Replacements of the main players (Mudryk, Tsyhankov, Stepanenko) were not only to release of the nearest reserve but also to save them from potential injuries. After 0:4, the Yellow and Blues brought the result to a simple finish: just win and not concede. Holding the ball, passing, showing something of their own: that was the plan for the final minutes. Although even there Yarmolenko tried to show off.

What could Ukraine work on in this sparring match? Confidence. Winning just before the Euros is a great emotion that is needed before the group stage, where there is no chance for a mistake. Moreover, it was in this game that Rebrov checked the final readiness of each player in the first team to participate in the championship. The crushing victory was a good recharge, and now we need to carry this aura through the entire group stage. The first match of the tournament is against Romania.

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