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Ukraine's World Cup Hopes Dented by Belarus

11. September 2009 by Admin 0 Comments

Ukraine's World Cup Hopes Dented by Belarus

Ukraine was held to a 0-0 draw by Belarus in a World Cup qualifier Wednesday, narrowing its chances of finishing second in Group 6 and getting a playoff spot for next year's tournament. Ukraine is battling Croatia for second place in their group, currently dominated by England.


"Ukraine should have won the game while we simply wanted to win, but both sides failed to reach their goals," Belarus coach Bernd Stange said.


Both sides missed a number of chances to score, with Belarus' Timofei Kalachev running through on goal just six minutes into the game, but firing straight at goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov. Two minutes later, striker Andriy Shevchenko's free kick went over the crossbar. Teammate Andriy Yarmolenko then forced Belarus keeper Yury Zhevnov into a save. Kalachev squandered his second chance in the 25th, and Oleksiy Gay hit right into the hands of Zhevnov with one minute left in the first half.


The draw left Belarus out of contention with nine points from eight games. Ukraine next hosts England on Oct. 10 while Belarus will take on Kazakhstan.


The 2010 FIFA World Cup is the biggest soccer (football) tournament in the World and will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. The tournament will be hosted by South Africa, the first African nation to host a World Cup event.


Source: AP, AFP