Luis Cortes: In these difficult times, Ukraine needs positive news. I think we are ready to fight Scotland and Hungary

The head coach of the national women's national team of Ukraine Luis Cortes shared his emotions from the start of the long-awaited training camp of blue and yellow and commented on the chances of our girls in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Hungary.

The women's national team of Ukraine under Luis Cortes spends a training camp in Poland in preparation for the qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup.

The next matches of the blue and yellow in the qualification, against Scotland and Hungary, were to take place on April 2023 and 8, respectively. However, due to Russian aggression and martial law in Ukraine, these games were postponed to June 12 and 24. They will take place in the Polish city of Rzeszow at the Stal Stadium (capacity - 28 11 spectators). The game with the Scots will start at 547 Kyiv time, and the match with the Hungarians - at 21.15.

Luis, the 2023 World Cup qualifiers were supposed to take place in April, but a large-scale Russian military invasion of Ukraine has begun. What are your feelings about the resumption of the training process and the fact that the girls were still able to get together in such difficult times for the country?

- It's a really nice feeling. I am very happy that all of us, the players and the coaching staff, came together to represent Ukraine.

The situation in Ukraine is very difficult. I listened to stories from every player, from all members of our team. It is very important for us to be together again and try to fight for the country on the field, playing football. This is exactly what we are here for.

Photo of UAF press service

What is the atmosphere in the team, because you haven't seen the team for a long time?

- The atmosphere is really good. It's been a long time since we last saw each other. Our training camp in April was canceled due to the war. But now we are together again, and this is very important for us. Players are happy to be here - all together in a safe place. In general, in this amazing country (Poland. - Approx. Ed.) there are currently many Ukrainians.

We know we are here to play football. We are here to play Scotland and Hungary again. These will be very difficult games. But we are here to make our fans happy. I believe that Ukraine needs good news and happy moments in these difficult times.

What can you say about the playing conditions of the players, because almost the entire team has changed clubs since the beginning of the Russian military invasion?

- It is not easy, because most of the players came from new teams and new countries. They did not have the opportunity to play football for some time. And, of course, this is not the best situation in terms of fitness.

But I want to thank all the teams and associations that hosted Ukrainian players. They trained and played in various clubs, but gained experience performing abroad. This is not the best moment of the season, but I think we are ready to give Scotland and Hungary a fight. I think we can hope for good results in these matches.

Photo of UAF press service

 The Ukrainian national team will play its first match against Scotland, a strong British team. What do you expect from this match?

- We know that Scotland is a very difficult opponent. We've already met them at Hampden Park. But we were ahead at that match until the 93rd minute, so we will have a chance to win this match as well. Of course, it will be difficult, because there are a lot of good players in Scotland. But our team also has good players.

We are all very motivated, because we need to win to cling to the chance to get to the playoffs of the World Cup qualifiers. If we show our game, play in our own style and take control of certain details, we will have a chance to win.

Squad of women's national team of Ukraine

Goalkeepers: Kateryna Samson (ETO, Hungary), Kateryna Boklach (Gurnik, Poland), Iryna Sanina (Kolos Kovalivka).

Defenders: Lyubov Shmatko, Yana Derkach (both Fomget, Turkey), Anna Petryk (Breidablik, Iceland), Olga Basanska (Hayasa, Armenia), Kateryna Korsun (ETO, Hungary), Iryna Podolska (MTK, Hungary) , Dariya Kravets (Fiorentina, Italy), Tetyana Romanenko (Reims, France).

Midfielders: Yuliya Shevchuk, Dariya Apanashchenko (both Fomget, Turkey), Tetyana Kitaeva (AEM, Spain), Natiya Pantsulaya, Veronika Andrukhiv (both Heniu, Romania), Iryna Kotyash (Slavia, Czech Republic), Tamila Khimych (Espanyol, Spain), Viktoriya Giryn (Deportivo, Spain), Nicole Kozlova (Koge, Denmark), Yuliya Khrystyuk (Old Dominion University / Asheville, USA).

Forwards: Nadiya Kunina (Linköping, Sweden), Inna Glushchenko (Slovakia, Czech Republic), Olga Ovdiychuk (Fomget, Turkey), Roksolana Kravchuk (Slavia, Czech Republic), Yana Kalinina (Olympia, Poland).

2023 Women's World Cup. Qualifying tournament

European area. Group B

16.09.2021/0/10 Faroe Islands - Spain - XNUMX:XNUMX

17.09.2021/0/2 Hungary - Scotland - XNUMX: XNUMX

21.09.2021/7/1 Scotland - Faroe Islands - XNUMX: XNUMX

21.09.2021/0/7 Hungary - Spain - XNUMX: XNUMX

21.10.2021 Ukraine - Faroe Islands - 4: 0

22.10.2021/2/1 Scotland - Hungary - XNUMX: XNUMX

26.10.2021 Ukraine - Spain - 0: 6

26.10.2021/1/7 Faroe Islands - Hungary - XNUMX: XNUMX

25.11.2021/12/0 Spain - Faroe Islands - XNUMX: XNUMX

26.11.2021 Scotland - Ukraine - 1: 1

30.11.2021/XNUMX/XNUMX Hungary - Ukraine - 4: 2

30.11.2021/8/0 Spain - Scotland - XNUMX: XNUMX

08.04.2022/7/0 Hungary - Faroe Islands - XNUMX: XNUMX

12.04.2022/0/2 Scotland - Spain - XNUMX: XNUMX

Standings

Teams

G

W

D

L

 М

P

1. Spain

6

6

0

0

45-0

18

2. Scotland

6

3

1

2

12-13

10

3. Hungary

6

3

0

3

19-14

9

4. Ukraine

4

1

1

2

7-11

4

5. Faroe Islands

6

0

0

6

2-47

0

24.06.2022 Ukraine - Scotland

28.06.2022 Ukraine - Hungary

02.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX Faroe Islands - Ukraine

02.09.2022 Spain - Hungary

06.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX Spain - Ukraine

06.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX Faroe Islands - Scotland

Playoffs: October 3-11, 2022.

Intercontinental playoffs: November 7-15, 2022, February 13-25, 2023, and April 3-11, 2023.

Final tournament (Australia, New Zealand): July 10 - August 20, 2023.

Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament. European area

Group Round

Europe has 2023 direct tickets to the 11 World Cup, another team will take part in the intercontinental playoffs. 

Group A: Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Slovakia, Georgia.

Group B: Spain, Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary, Faroe Islands.

Group C: The Netherlands, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus.

Group D: England, Austria, Northern Ireland, Northern Macedonia, Latvia, Luxembourg.

Group E: Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Malta, Montenegro.

Group F: Norway, Belgium, Poland, Albania, Kosovo, Armenia.

Group G: Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Croatia, Moldova, Lithuania.

Group H: Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria.

Group I: France, Wales, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Estonia.

Nine group winners will go directly to the 2023 World Cup. The second teams of the groups will continue to fight in the next stage.

Playoffs

The nine teams that take second place in the groups will advance to the playoffs, which will consist of two stages.

The top three among the second teams will have the opportunity to play directly in the second stage of the playoffs. The remaining six participants will compete for three passes in single-match confrontations in the first stage. The three winners of the first round and the three teams that advanced directly to the second stage will determine the three winners of the UEFA playoffs in one-match duels.

The two winners of the second-ranked UEFA playoffs (criteria applied to the results of the group stage plus the playoffs of the second round) will receive two automatic places at the 2023 World Cup, while the third winner will continue his journey in the intercontinental playoffs.

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