Oleksandr Kosenko: "It's a very difficult game, and I thank the guys for their character, for the fact that they fought until the end"

Oleksandr Kosenko, head coach of the Ukrainian futsal team, commented on the draw with Serbia (1:1) in the elite round of World Cup 2024 qualification. The words of the mentor of the blue-yellows lead the Futsal Association of Ukraine press-service reports,.

— The national team of Ukraine failed to win. Was it because the Serbs played better? Did Ukraine play worse compared to the first match?

- We played with a completely different opponent - more motivated, in my opinion. It was a very tough game and the Serbians knew that a loss would almost eliminate them from the competition, so they were highly motivated. We knew it and were preparing for just such a game. The boys understood this and, I believe, played quite confidently, the Serbs did not have many moments. A very tough game and I thank the guys for their character, for fighting until the end. In such a game, the score was equalized. As I said, everything is in our hands, and we have to keep playing.

— The goalkeeper of the Serbian national team said that playing against Ukraine is the most difficult for him. Which team for you in this group can you call the strongest and the most difficult for the national team of Ukraine?

— You have to treat any opponent with respect, because if you underestimate the opponent, it will be difficult for you to play with anyone. Therefore, I would not like to single out anyone. Everyone wants to win and go to the World Cup. We look more at our own game, and all opponents are worthy. Each team has its strengths and weaknesses.

— If you don't pay attention to the score, which team's game pattern did you like more?

— A draw is a natural result of this game. As for the picture, you have to see, because this game was more closed, not as open as it was in Serbia. We needed to break down a tight defense, and that's hard to do. Also, the floor is not fast, and it hindered us a bit: there were not enough quick passes, quick breakaways, so the opponent was completely different.

WC-2024. European qualification. Elite round

Group B

15.09.2023

Belgium - Ukraine - 2: 10

Poland — Serbia — 1:2

20.09.2023

Ukraine - Poland - 2: 3

Serbia — Belgium — 3:3

06.10.2023

Serbia - Ukraine - 1: 6

Poland — Belgium — 7:2

11.10.2023

Ukraine - Serbia - 1: 1

Belgium — Poland — 1:3

Standings

 

 Structure

G

W

D

L

GD

P

1

 Poland

4

3

0

1

14-7

9

2

 Ukraine

4

2

1

1

19-7

7

3

 Serbia 

4

1

2

1

7-11

5

4

 Belgium

4

0

1

3

8-23

1

15.12.2023

Ukraine - Belgium

Serbia — Poland

20.12.2023

Belgium — Serbia

Poland - Ukraine

Futsal World Cup 2024. Elite round of selection in the UEFA zone

Group A: Kazakhstan, Romania, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands.

Group B: Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Belgium.

Group C: Croatia, Slovakia, France, Germany.

Group D: Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic.

Group E: Portugal, Georgia, Armenia, Finland.

WC-2024. European qualification

Elite round

Matches: September 11-20, October 2-11, December 11-20, 2023.

The 20 national teams are divided into five groups of four teams each, matches are played 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. 

Elite round playoffs

Draw: January 25, 2024

Matches: April 8-17, 2024.

Four teams will be divided into two pairs, matches will be played at home and away. The winners of the pairs will go to the 2024 World Cup.

World Cup to be held in Uzbekistan from September 14 to October 6, 2024.

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