Serhii Sapronov: "The main thing is that we didn't get stuck in League B of the European Championship"

The other day in the Bulgarian city of Sliven, the matches of the second round of Euro-2023 selection among girls (WU-17) were completed, where, in addition to the hosts, soccer players from Ukraine and Latvia competed.

In Group B6 of the second round of the Euro-2023 selection, Serhii Sapronov's wards secured the first step and return to the top division. Ukrainian women managed to win over Bulgaria - 2:1 and Latvia (5:0).

— I set the girls up only to win first place and return to League A, — said the head coach of the Ukrainian national team, Serhii Sapronov, in a comment to the official UAF website. — The main difficulty was that, due to Russian aggression, my wards were unable to play a single sparring match. It is good that thanks to the support of the UAF management, it was possible to hold a four-day training camp in Bulgaria immediately before the tournament.

Did you have information about the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors?

— They studied the video recordings of last year's matches between the Bulgarian and Latvian women, who played in League B at that time, and watched the match between the national teams of Estonia and Latvia within the Baltic Cup. So they had an idea of ​​what tactical schemes the Visavi follow. However, it should be taken into account that over time there were personnel changes. However, I was more concerned about whether my wards would be able to fulfill the coach's installation.

— Since the maximum result was achieved in Sliven, which allowed us to return to the class of the strongest, there should be no complaints against our girls...

— Considering the conditions of preparation, of course, it is a sin to complain. It is important that the titles were won by playing, all the wards wanted to demonstrate their skills. It was obvious that the main test was waiting for us already in the first confrontation - with the hostesses. They were remembered for the fact that they skillfully combined near someone else's penalty area. That is why I set up my wards to meet the opponent in the center of the field. This made it possible to push the game away from their own goal and, thanks to skillful actions in the selection, significantly surpass the Bulgarian in the number of hits. It's a shame that they limited themselves to only two scored goals, without realizing a few more goal-scoring opportunities.

And in the match against the Latvians, they decided to play even more aggressively, adopting high pressing. The opponents clearly did not expect this, they often lost the ball in elementary situations, which we took advantage of.

— Is it worth singling someone out?

— You know, this was the last appearance for the national team of Ukraine of this age of football players born in 2006. They were very eager to entertain with a good game at farewell. And it was these girls who made the most significant contribution to our success. Maryna Ptitsina, who defends the colors of the German "Wolfsburg", should be noted separately, she noticeably added. It remains to be hoped that one of these soccer players will be able to make her way to the WU-19 youth team in time.

- Who helped you in Sliven?

— Lyudmila Lemeshko, Oleksandr Mitko and Anastasia Kvartsiana, by the way, the grandson of a famous football coach.

- What's next?

— The Development Cup will be held in Romania in mid-April. We plan to review at the official level at once 15 soccer players born in 2007. Vinnytsia Olena Marceniuk, who showed herself well a few days ago in Bulgaria, will claim the role of leader. And in June we will find out about rivals in League A of the first round of the new European Championship selection...

Euro-2023 (WU-17). Second round. Group B6


Bulgaria - Ukraine - 1: 2


Ukraine — Latvia — 5:0


Latvia — Bulgaria — 1:3









 1. Ukraine







 2. Bulgaria







 3. Latvia







Euro-2023 (WU-17). Second round

League A

Group A1: Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Romania.

Group A2: England, Norway, Belgium, Croatia.

Group A3: Germany, Portugal, Hungary, North Macedonia.

Group A4: Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia.

Group A5: Ireland, France, Italy, Kosovo.

Group A6: Spain, Denmark, Serbia, Belarus.

Group A7: Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Wales.

League B.

Group B1: Greece, Faroe Islands, Lithuania, Moldova.

Group B2: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Montenegro.

Group B3: Scotland, Israel, Georgia.

Group B4: Iceland, Luxembourg, Albania.

Group B5: Northern Ireland, Turkey, Armenia.

Group B6: Ukraine, Latvia, Bulgaria.

Teams in League B, including those relegated from League A after the autumn stage, in six groups (two with four participants, four with three) fight for tickets to League A in the first round of the next draw. They will be awarded to the winners of the groups, as well as to the best second team. 

In League A, 28 teams play in seven groups, including seven national teams that were promoted from League B following the results of the first round. The seven group winners from the second round of the A-League (and the best runner-up if Estonia finishes first in the group) will qualify for the final stage, which will take place between 14 and 26 May. The fourth-place teams in the groups will start the 2023/2024 season in League B.

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