On November 20, 2023, Italy and Ukraine played a UEFA Euro 2024 qualification match at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany.
Italy, the defending European champions, were reportedly assured of a spot in Euro 2024 following a goalless draw with Ukraine in Leverkusen, according to Naija News. The match was exciting even if there were no goals since both sides had plenty of opportunities to score thanks to Italy’s robust assault and Ukraine’s counterattacking strategy.
In the final seconds of the match, Mykhailo Mudryk appeared to have contact from Italy’s Bryan Cristante, but Ukraine’s claim for a penalty was turned down.
Italy’s triumph is noteworthy because they were not able to qualify for the World Cups in 2018 or 2022 the previous two times.
On the other hand, Ukraine was forced to play their home match in Germany because of the ongoing conflict with Russia. They still have an opportunity to make the playoffs in March 2024, but they will have a difficult road ahead of them.
While Ukraine understood that just a victory would suffice, Italy thought that they might progress by avoiding defeat when they arrived in Leverkusen.
Following Roberto Mancini’s abrupt resignation from the Saudi Arabian national team, Luciano Spalletti became Italy’s coach three months ago. On Monday, he declared that his players had a “duty to defend” their title and that they would not back down from a challenge against Ukraine.
For Ukraine, Mudryk was a dynamic presence on the left side that produced multiple half-chances in the first half, but his team’s lackluster finishing failed them down.
Half an hour later, Federico Chiesa’s deft pass over the goal’s face, evading a desperately pursuing Davide Frattesi, signaled that Italy was starting to benefit from their possession domination.
Italy attacked again early in the second half, but as the game went on, the jittery Italians backed off, giving Ukraine greater room up front.
Although Cristante appeared to have fouled Mudryk in the box, the referee turned down his team’s fervent pleas for a penalty. Mudryk continued to pose a threat.
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