"There was a clean penalty": Riebrov assessed the scandalous episode of the match with Italy and spoke about the difficulties in working with the national team
Ukraine's head coach Serhii Rebrov believes that in the Euro 2024 qualifying match against Italy, the referee did not give a clean penalty to Donnarumma for an offense on Mudryk. The controversial episode occurred in stoppage time, and the referee's decision helped the current continental champions hold on to a 0-0 draw and qualify for the European Championships from second place in the group. The Ukrainians will have to play in the playoffs in the spring.
"I don't know, I also think it was a clear penalty. However, there is VAR. In my opinion, there was a penalty, but, as I say, it's not our call. Probably, the VAR judge watched the replay of this episode and decided that there was no foul. Because there are people who watch, and the referee did not," Riebrov emphasized during a conversation with journalists.
The Blue and Yellows coach also told us what his strategy was for the final match of the group stage.
"Yes, we had a plan. But today we played against the reigning European champions, so it was very difficult in the match against this team - from the first minute they started pressing. Because of this, in the first half we concentrated more on defense, and in the second half we played more intensely, pressed more and thus took the ball away and created chances," Rebrov emphasized.
The coach admitted that after the match, all the guys in the locker room were very upset that they didn't get the result they needed: "But I think they played a good game today and I can only thank them."
"I think, looking at the composition of our group before the start of the qualifying cycle, very few people believed in us. But we fought until the last match," Rebrov assured.
"We have been working together with the players for only six months, but they have expressed a desire to understand the model of our game, showed the Ukrainian character, because, as you know, the war in our country is ongoing. And it is very difficult for players - they are constantly looking at their phones, watching the news. It's a difficult atmosphere to work in. But we all realize that we represent a strong country. And today we showed our character and fought for Ukraine," said the coach.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported that Ukraine will face a playoff in the Euro 2024 qualifiers: Rebrov's team beat Italy but failed to break through.
We also told you who Ukraine will play in the Euro 2024 playoffs.