Andrey Shevchenko. Photo: uefa.com
Andriy Shevchenko involved in all the previous matches of Ukraine national team against Croatia, preparing for the next meeting as a coach.
*Of the seven meetings, Croatia have won three and Ukraine one three ended in a draw
*In their last six qualifying matches, Croatia (W5 D1) and Ukraine (W3 D3) not lost
*Next games: Iceland – Croatia, Finland – Ukraine (11 June)
Andriy Shevchenko, the fourth time is coming to Zagreb together with the national team of Ukraine, but for the first time as a head coach, currently holds the second place in group I of qualifying for the 2018 world Cup. With a lead of two points while leading the Croats. On Friday, the rivals will again face off on the field “Maksimira”, where the Ukrainian team has not won yet.
First in the qualifying campaigns of the European and world Championships, the blazers twice around the blue-yellow and once inferior to them. The compositions of both teams only Shevchenko, at the time, who scored in Zagreb, participated in all the previous matches between the teams of Ukraine and Croatia.
EURO 1996: disastrous debut for Ukraine
To make their debut in the international arena, the Ukrainian team failed to keep a number of leading players, many of whom after the collapse of the Soviet Union decided to play under the flag of Russia. Including for this reason, the selection of EURO 96 was the most disastrous in the history of blue-yellow fourth place in the group behind Lithuania, whereas the Croats won it, ahead of including Italy. In March 1995, the opponents were really not comparable, but that “Maximize” for the national team first played an 18-year-old Shevchenko.
“At the end of this debacle and home defeat against Italy (0:2) I made one of his first discovery of football – said Andrei. – Its essence? You need to go to other speeds, otherwise a dead end.” In the second match in Kiev “Olympic” due to the goal of Yuriy Kalitvintsev has the Ukrainians took the Croats revenge (1:0), by the way, playing without Shevchenko, sent to strengthening of the youth team. In the next cycle this will be a “Foundation” blue and yellow.
World Cup 1998: Croatia after Barcelona
Speaking dramatically changed the composition of the national team of Ukraine under the leadership of józsef szabó in fact was a copy of the Kiev “Dynamo”. Quite a bit behind Germany in the group, she got to “the junction” for the Croatian national team – the future of the bronze medallist of the world Cup in France. In Zagreb, a week later, after enchanting the defeat of the Kiev Barcelona (3:0) in the UEFA Champions League, the blazers, not without difficulty, but still overpowered the blue-yellow (2:0), playing without suspended Shevchenko and Kalitvintsev has.
The second play-off match, held at “Olympic”, ten days later, after the defeat of Dynamo Barca at the camp Nou (4:0) started fast with a goal by Shevchenko, but the guests equalized – 1:1. It was the beginning of a series of unsuccessful performances of the national team of Ukraine in the play-offs, interrupted only in the run-up to EURO 2016. “The defeat is unfair! – then I blurted out in the hearts of Shevchenko. – I’m very upset. This game was more important of the two victories over Barcelona.
2010 world Cup: tears on the “Donbass Arena”
In this qualification under the command of Alexei Mikhailichenko of going through another generational change, the team made only one unnecessary loss of points, having played a draw in Belarus – 0:0. But at the finish of the selection, she defeated England (1:0), for the first time defeating a top team. But both matches against Croatia with the blue and yellow ended in a draw. In Kharkiv – no goals, although Andriy Shevchenko and Luca Modric is not used for several advantageous moments. In Zagreb both scored a goal, and it ended with the result 2:2.
Thus, the victory over the English has retained the blue-yellow second place in the group, sending them into the play-offs, but the Croatians remained third. However, at the final stage in South Africa went and Ukrainians, this time losing in the “joints” of Greece (0:0 and 0:1). Leaving the field in Donetsk “Donbass Arena” in November 2009, Shevchenko was not even trying to hide the tears. “The whole body aches, every injury makes itself felt, therefore, not only about the career, you should think, but about how you finish…” – he gave vent to his emotions. Her career, however, ending only after the home EURO 2012.
2018 world Cup: Shevchenko vs Chachich
Current selection Andriy Shevchenko started as a coach, leading the blue-yellow a month before the start of the qualification for the 2018 world Cup. However, while debutant are looking up – after draws with Iceland (1:1) and Turkey (2:2) his team defeated the national teams of Kosovo (3:0) and Finland (1:0), winning at the end of 2016 Serbia (2:0) in friendly match. And now in Zagreb waiting for them, perhaps the most difficult at this stage of the exam, because the opponent is the sole leader of the group I.
Only in the opening match of the tournament against Turkey, the team Ante Cacica allowed myself the points (1:1), then scoring three consecutive victories – over Kosovo (6:0), Finland (1:0) and Iceland (2:0). “The game against the best team in the group will be an excellent test of our ability, – said Shevchenko. We can beat the hosts only at the expense of collective game. If you take individually, they have on every position there are players from the top clubs in the world. But football is a team game. Importantly, each of us knew it.”