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World CupZinchenko clear on what is required against Wales

Zinchenko clear on what is required against Wales

Oleksandr Zinchenko insisted Ukraine’s win over Scotland would mean nothing if he and his teammates could not go on and beat Wales to qualify for the Qatar World Cup.

Zinchenko played a key role as Ukraine defeated Scotland 3-1 on Wednesday at Hampden Park in an emotional return to competitive action.

The World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final was delayed from March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is still ongoing.

But goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Raman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk mean that only Wales stands in the way of Ukraine and a place in Qatar.

Manchester City utility man Zinchenko knows the precise requirements, heading to Cardiff for Sunday’s contest.

He told Sky Sports:

“Everyone knows the situation right now in Ukraine, and every single game is like a final for us.

“We have dreamed of being at the World Cup, so we have one more game, one more final, and we need to win it. Otherwise, this game is not going to mean anything.

“It’s going to be a massive game for us. Everyone understands the situation. All of us need to show the best performance in our lives, and then we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

In his post-match news conference, Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov said:

“I have no emotion, and I left my emotion on the pitch. This wasn’t a win for us, and it was for our country.”

Ruslan Malinovskyi, the Atalanta midfielder, told beIN SPORTS:

“This win for our people, our country, in a difficult period they are living.

“Also, my parents and brother are there in Ukraine, and we want it to finish and pray for our people that this war is finished as soon as possible.

“Now we are not playing for ourselves, and we play for our whole country. So soldiers, also normal people, will follow [Wales] game with their phone, on their TV.

“I think it will be a similar game. It will be a battle, and we need to play our game, be fast, and be ready for the duels.”

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