Oleksandr Kosenko: "The Kosova national team is at a good level. It will definitely not be easy..."

Oleksandr Kosenko, head coach of the Ukrainian futsal team, spoke about the team's preparation for the match with Kosovo.

Away match of the main round of the World Cup 2024 selection against Kosovo blue-yellow will hold today in Pristina (starting at 18.00 Kyiv time).

Oleksandr Kosenko, the head coach of our team, shared his expectations the day before, whose words he quotes the Futsal Association of Ukraine press-service reports,.

— Oleksandr Petrovych, the Ukrainian national team is waiting for a match against Kosovo. Tell us in what mode the team is preparing for it.

— On November 5, we flew to Pristina. During the next three days, they worked in the regime of one-time training sessions, and also conducted theoretical classes.

— What can you say about the hall in which the match will take place?

— I'll be honest, I didn't really like the coverage. It can be seen that it is a little outdated. Sometimes even the ball does not have a proper rebound from the floor. There are small potholes that have been patched. Of course, I wish the coverage was faster. Although the hall was wet cleaned, traces of glue after handball remain. However, both opponents will be on equal terms.

— The Football Federation of Kosovo hung banners in support of our country in the hall. How nice is it to train with such an entourage?

— All the countries where we played after February 24 sincerely support Ukraine. It adds to the effort!

— A month ago, our team already played with Kosovars. This time the match will take place on the opponent's court. Probably, everyone is well aware of how they cheer in the Balkans.

— Playing away is always more difficult. In the Balkan Peninsula, they passionately support their teams in all game sports. In addition, I have already mentioned that the Kosovo national team is at a good level. The Balkans really took a step forward compared to our face-to-face match three years ago. It will definitely not be easy. We have to go out on the court and be as focused as possible from the beginning of the meeting.

— Unfortunately, for the national team of Ukraine, all matches are away games. Do you agree that it is probably better to play in a full house, when most people are rooting for the opponent, than in an empty one?

- Of course. We play for the audience. Of course, this is an additional advantage for the hosts, and the guests receive a certain pressure from the stands. However, you want to feel the atmosphere and see the fans. We also hope that a part of the Ukrainian diaspora will be present in the stands.

— What do you say about the newcomer of the team, Rostislav Semenchenko, who in the fall became a semi-finalist at the youth Euro, and in the summer won silver at the student world championship?

— Indeed, Rostislav played well in the matches of the student world championship and drew attention to himself. I hope that he will continue to progress and take a step forward from the student and youth teams to the national team. Rostyslav showed himself well in these teams, so he deservedly received a challenge.

— The match against Kosovo will be the last official one for the 2022 Ukrainian national team. Wanting to go on a four-month hiatus in qualifiers with a win under your belt is additional motivation?

— I want to end both the first and the last — and in general, any match during the year — with a victory. We will try to please the fans with a good game and a positive result.

The roster of the Ukrainian national futsal team:

Goalkeepers: Kyrylo Tsypun (Piast, Poland), Yuriy Savenko (Hurricane).

Outfield players: Petro Shoturma, Daniil Abakshin, Artem Farenyuk, Mykola Mykytyuk (all "Uragan"), Mykhailo Zvarych, Serhiy Malyshko (both "Energy"), Yevhen Siriy, Ihor Chernyavskyi (both "HIT"), Andriy Melnyk, Rostyslav Semenchenko (both - CLUST), Yaroslav Lebid (Cosmos, Estonia).

WC-2024. European qualification. Main round. Group 11

18.09.2022

Netherlands — Kosovo — 2:1

07.10.2022

Ukraine — Kosovo — 3:1

11.10.2022

Ukraine - Netherlands - 4: 2

Standings

 

G

W

D

L

GD

P

1. Ukraine

2

2

0

0

7-3

6

2. Netherlands

2

1

0

1

4-5

3

3. Kosovo

2

0

0

2

2-5

0

09.11.2022

Kosovo - Ukraine (18.00)

03.03.2023

Kosovo — Netherlands

08.03.2023

Netherlands - Ukraine

In the main round, 36 national teams are divided into 12 groups of three teams, in which matches are played at home and away. The 12 group winners and the four best runners-up will advance to the elite round. The other eight runners-up will compete in the main round playoffs.

WC-2024. European qualification. Main round

Group 1: Spain, Moldova, Cyprus.

Group 2: Georgia, Belgium, Austria.

Group 3: Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia.

Group 4: Portugal, Belarus, Lithuania.

Group 5: Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Montenegro.

Group 6: Azerbaijan, Poland, Greece.

Group 7: Croatia, Hungary, Israel.

Group 8: Finland, Romania, Denmark.

Group 9: Serbia, France, Norway.

Group 10: Italy, North Macedonia, Sweden.

Group 11: Ukraine, Netherlands, Kosovo.

Group 12: Slovakia, Latvia, Germany.

Format

Qualification takes place in five stages: preliminary round (mini-tournaments), main round (groups with home and away matches), main round playoffs (home and away matches), elite round (groups with home and away matches) and elite round playoffs (home and away matches).

Playoffs of the main round

Draw: March 10, 2023.

Matches: April 10-19, 2023.

Eight teams will be divided into four pairs, the matches will be held at home and away. The winners will advance to the elite round.

Elite round

Draw: July 5, 2023

Matches: will be completed by December 20, 2023.

The 20 national teams will be divided into five groups of four teams each, matches will be held at home and away. Five group winners will go to the 2024 WC. The four best runners-up will advance to the elite round playoffs. If a European association is selected to host the final tournament, only the two best runners-up will advance to the elite round play-offs.

Elite round playoffs

Draw: January 25, 2024

Matches: April 8-17, 2024.

The four teams will be divided into two pairs (if only two teams participate in the playoffs, a draw will be held to determine the order of the matches), the matches will be played at home and away. The winners will go to the 2024 World Cup.

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