Andy Robertson admits Scotland ‘didn’t show up’ in World Cup play-off loss to Ukraine | Soccer News

Scotland captain Andy Robertson admits his side “didn’t show up” as Ukraine ended their World Cup hopes at an emotionally charged Hampden Park.

The world’s attention was on the game due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February but, despite the distractions of that conflict, when the attention turned to football, it was the visitors of Glasgow who have been the most accomplished.

Scotland keeper Craig Gordon, 39, only kept the visitors at bay until the 33rd minute when skipper Andriy Yarmolenko put Ukraine ahead and Roman Yaremchuk doubled the lead a header three minutes after the break.

Midfielder Callum McGregor scored a 79th-minute goal as Steve Clarke’s men rallied, but it was too little too late and Ukraine substitute Artem Dovbyk drove in a third breakaway in extra time for book a place against Wales in the play-off final in Cardiff. on Sunday.

Robertson said sky sports“It’s extremely disappointing because we’ve waited a long time for this game. Our performances before were really good but to be honest, we didn’t really show up.

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Highlights from the World Cup play-off semi-final between Scotland and Ukraine

“Ukraine settled into the game much faster than us and it continued. We knew they were probably going to be tired and they were, but we gave it a hard time.

“We had to try to stay in the game but we couldn’t. We left ourselves open to the counter-attack because we had to push for a goal. We didn’t play the way we wanted and unfortunately, it went through us.

“After a really positive campaign, we let ourselves down tonight. It took us 11 games to get here, after a positive campaign.

Ukraine players celebrate the end of the 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off soccer match between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Hepell )
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Ukraine went from a World Cup qualifying play-off for the first time to the fifth attempt

“Finishing second and getting a play-off at home is going to hurt. We have to think about tonight and tomorrow is a new day. It’s the World Cup that lasts another four years and we all dream of trying to play in this big tournament and we haven’t put in a performance to justify that tonight.

“But we have to stick together. We know there will be scrutiny ahead and we know we will be under fire because it is, but we have to stick together as a group.

“We have made tremendous progress and there will be a moment to step back, but tonight is not the night. All we can say is that we are sorry for the fans here and at home. home to have them disappointed, but we’ll just have to dust off get down and go again.

Zinchenko: We dream of being at the World Cup

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Ukraine captain Oleksandr Zinchenko says his side dream of reaching the World Cup final and must produce their best performance to beat Wales in the play-off final.

After their first loss in nine games, Clarke’s side must now regroup and somehow prepare for the Nations League opener against Armenia at Hampden Park next week. .

The night had promised so much for Scotland but Ukraine, backed by around 3,500 fans, deserved victory after starting with six players who hadn’t played a competitive game in 2022.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was Man of the Match and Manchester City full-back says sky sports: “Everyone knows the situation in Ukraine and every game is like a final. We dream as a team to be at the World Cup.

Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko shakes hands with Scottish Ryan Christie
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Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko shakes hands with Scottish Ryan Christie

“We have one more game, one more final and we have to win it. Otherwise this game will mean nothing.

“Scotland are a great team and have incredible players in every line. But we did well. We scored three goals and could have scored more.

“The game against Wales is going to be huge for us. We have to show our best performance in our lives and then we’ll see what happens.”

Clarke: We can’t forget the progress we’ve made

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Scotland coach Steve Clarke says the better side won after his side lost 3-1 to Ukraine in the World Cup play-off semi-final.

Scotland were unbeaten in 12 home games at Hampden Park before this match (W8 D4); Ukraine ended Scotland’s longest home unbeaten run since May 1978 (16 games).

They have now failed to qualify for any of the last six World Cup tournaments since their appearance at the 1998 edition. Between 1974 and 1998, they only missed one of the seven tournaments.

Director Steve Clarke said sky sports“It’s a disappointing night. We have to be honest, the best team of the night won. Congratulations Ukraine. I wish them luck when they go to Cardiff. You have to wish the Welsh good luck as well. Game.

Ukrainian Artem Dovbyk celebrates after scoring
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Ukrainian Artem Dovbyk celebrates after scoring

“In the first half I don’t think we played enough, we didn’t manage to drop the ball. I made the substitution at half time but we didn’t give ourselves the chance to play. “Use this change because we were very down 2-0 at the start of the second half. We showed character, we tried. John missed a good chance. It’s Ukraine night, not that of Scotland.

“Now is the night to suffer. But we can’t forget the progress we’ve made over the last three years. We qualified for Euro 2020, we got to the play-off stage for the FIFA Cup world. We can be sad together for a few days, but then we have to start building for the next campaign. When you lose a match of this magnitude, it hurts.

Analysis: “Ukraine made Scotland look like a pedestrian”

Scotland will not be at the World Cup
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Scotland have failed to qualify for any of the last six World Cup tournaments since appearing in the 1998 edition

Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness:

“Scotland got back into the game and in the last 20 minutes we had the right to say ‘if only…’ their keeper doesn’t look like he’s ready to play at this level. but for most of the game we were second fiddle.

“You have to give credit to Ukraine for the way they entered the lion’s den and performed.

“We can highlight McGregor’s blocking on the goalkeeper who could have easily gone in, McGinn has to score with his head but I think that would have created a false image if we had gotten anything out of this game.

“Ukraine looked like a very good team and they made us look like pedestrians for most of the first half. They could have put the game to bed long before the third came in. .

“Zinchenko ran the show and I don’t think there were any surprises in what we saw of him tonight. The way he plays at Man City, he comes in and out of the game as a full-back left and in the center of midfield.

“When he comes into midfield, he’s a very good footballer and he was the catalyst for Ukraine to keep the ball, passing it when the time was right.

“He played like a seasoned midfielder. I’m hesitant to be tough on Scotland because we play with spirit, but we didn’t have the quality to match Ukraine in vital areas.

“It saddens me to say this, but we just weren’t good enough.”

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Paul Lambert felt Scotland didn’t start as well as they should but Ukraine were excellent and deserved to go through and stage a World Cup play-off final against Wales.

Sky Sports’ Ally McCoist:

“Let’s be frank about it, Ukraine deserved it. They were clinical – they could have been more clinical to be honest. Ukraine were better than Scotland, who blew in the second half when they came on. Scotland scored and put Ukraine under a bit of pressure. But overall no complaints. The better team won.

“I don’t think the occasion is too big for some players, I just think it’s the brutal fact that Scotland have been beaten by a much better team.

“We are a good team but we were beaten tonight by a very good team who were better than I thought.

“It was a brave, bold decision to play two up front, which I don’t think worked for us. When you do that, they dominated the middle of the park and they used it very well.

“Both players were starting at the top of the park and going down areas and there were more of us in the middle. They were very smart and Zinchenko was the best player in the park. He was absolutely exceptional.”

And after?

Wales will now face Ukraine in Cardiff on Sunday in the World Cup play-off final. The game is live Sky Sports Football from 4 p.m., kick-off 5 p.m.

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