Oleksandr Kosenko: "We will wait for the draw and look for opportunities to hold friendly matches"

Oleksandr Kosenko, the head coach of the Ukrainian futsal team, commented on the result of the match with the Netherlands and shared his expectations from the elite round of the World Cup 2024 selection.

Ukrainian national futsal team took it first place in group 11 of the main selection round of the World Cup-2024 and made it to the elite round of qualification. The draw of this stage will kick-off July 5st.

The head coach of the blue and yellow Oleksandr Kosenko commented on the result of the last match, with the Netherlands (1:1), and also shared the team's plans for the future. His words lead the Futsal Association of Ukraine press-service reports,.

— Oleksandr Petrovych, what impressions did you have after the match with the Dutch?

— We really wanted to win, because we wanted to please our own fans. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. We created enough moments that needed to be implemented. However, the opponent also had his opportunities. In general, the match seemed interesting. The match did not decide anything for us from the tournament point of view, but it is a pity that only one point was scored as a result of it.

— What is the experiment with the modification of playing fours connected with?

— We decided to try such combinations of players in action. In fact, we used similar fours in the second half of the first match against the same Dutchmen. Only the third quartet can be called completely new. In general, we decided to try to play this way. The boys showed themselves well.

— In your opinion, what was the difference between the first and second round matches against the Netherlands national team?

— In Latvia, everything was unclear from the tournament point of view. Our team desperately needed a victory to finish the starting round in first place. As for the second match, it was more important for the Dutch national team, because they could have entered the elite round directly if they had scored three points in the last meeting. We also wanted to win to gain additional confidence for the future, but in the end the teams shared the points.

— In the matches against Poland and the Netherlands, the coaching staff allocated an equal amount of time for the goalkeepers — Yuriy Savenka and Oleksandr Sukhov. How satisfied were you with their actions?

— The goalkeeper position in Ukrainian futsal has always been quite strong. Yuriy and Oleksandr confirmed that they are currently at approximately the same level. It's good that the boys are in good shape now, so the choice was not easy. Therefore, they decided to give them a half in each of the matches. They deserve it.

Photo of FAU press service

— Both during the broadcast and in the photos, a large number of fans with Ukrainian flags could be seen. What does this support mean to you?

— Ukrainian flags on the stands in the Netherlands gave the team strength and confidence. We really wanted to give the fans a victory. We really enjoyed it. Believe me, these are not empty words. The boys felt supported and warmly communicated with our fans after the match.

— On July 5, the draw for the elite round of European qualification for the 2024 World Cup will take place. What are the future plans of the team?

— We will wait for the draw and look for opportunities to hold friendly matches. We understand that in the elite round we will be faced with opponents of the level of the European Championship.

— Playoff matches of the main round will take place in April. Probably, it will be possible to observe potential opponents of our team there as well?

- Yes of course. We will watch the playoff matches, because one of these teams may end up in our group. And in general, it is interesting to watch matches as a fan. The matches will be held according to the cup system. There can be no draw in the general confrontation. I can note that the level of European futsal is increasing. We see more and more interesting teams. What is the worth of only the Swedish national team, which recently drew a spectacular draw — 7:7 with the Italians! Scoring seven goals for the Italian national team is worth a lot. And this is just one of the examples. Therefore, it is quite difficult to predict the course of confrontations in playoff pairs.

Let's add that in the main round, 36 national teams were divided into 12 groups of three teams, in which matches were played at home and away. The 12 group winners and the four best runners-up advanced to the elite round. The other eight runners-up will participate in the main round playoffs, where four more tickets will be drawn. 

Main Round Playoffs: Belgium - Hungary, Netherlands - Moldova, Sweden - Germany, Czech Republic - Lithuania.

Made it to the elite round: Spain, Georgia, Armenia, Portugal, Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Poland, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Romania, Finland, France, Serbia, Italy, Ukraine, Slovakia.

WC-2024. European qualification. Format

Qualification in Europe 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).

The main round. Group 11


Netherlands — Kosovo — 2:1


Ukraine — Kosovo — 3:1


Ukraine - Netherlands - 4: 2


Kosovo - Ukraine - 2: 5


Kosovo — Netherlands — 3:3


Netherlands - Ukraine - 1: 1









1. Ukraine







2. Netherlands







3. Kosovo







Playoffs of the main round

Matches: April 10-19, 2023.

Eight teams were divided into four pairs, matches will be played 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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