Nataliya Ignatovych: "Even in matches where crushing victories were won, the rivals put up stubborn resistance"

The youth women's national team of Ukraine took first place in their group in Armenia in the first round of qualifying for the European Championship 2024 (WU-19) in League B.

Acting Head Coach of the Youth Women's National Team of Ukraine, Natalia Ignatovych, in a comment to the official website of the UAF, shared her impressions of the competition in Armenia:

— Unfortunately, there was not enough information about the rivals and there was nothing left but to determine their strengths and weaknesses already during the course of the tournament. By the way, the fact that the Ukrainian women crushed their first opponents, the national teams of Armenia and Luxembourg, with the same score of 6:0, should not mislead. They stubbornly resisted.

- What helped to take the mountain?

— The hostesses should be given credit for their diligence, but they had problems with tactical preparation. My wards took advantage of this, punishing the Armenians for mistakes in insurance after vertical passes.

As for the Luxembourg national team, it focused exclusively on defense, and in the debut it was not easy to find a gap in its defensive redoubts. Things got more fun when we made adjustments and focused our charges on wing attacks. Rivals started not having time to line up and panicked. And they should be satisfied that the ball only hit the net six times.

— Thanks to the better ratio of blocked and missed citiesplayed in the last match Ukrainian women from North Macedonia even a draw was acceptable...

— Yes, but the situation changed drastically when we conceded in the debut: our stoppers could not keep up with the curling Sela, who opened the scoring. However, this only brought the girls together, they clearly followed the setup, trying to complete all combinations with kicks from outside the penalty area or through passes. It was in this style that the Ukrainian women took the lead even before the break. First, the Balkans fouled Radionova, and the victim herself converted the penalty. And soon Radionova was assisted by Serbuk, who forced the opponent's goalkeeper to capitulate for the second time - 2:1.

Since the Macedonians continued to expect to use only long passes to bring the motor Sela into a striking position, and our defenders were already ready for this and skillfully played in anticipation, there was no chance to escape from the opponents.

- What's next?

— The draw for the second round of the 2024 European Championship selection will take place in December. The national team of Ukraine will play in League A, where the opponents will be more skilled. It doesn't scare me. I was satisfied with the football players I had at my disposal in Armenia. If there will be rotation in the composition, then it is minimal. In particular, I am counting on striker Yevgenia Belyaeva, who was prevented from performing in Armavir by an injury.

Euro-2024 (WU-19). First round of selection. League B

Group 4

24.10.2023

Luxembourg — North Macedonia — 0:4

Ukraine - Armenia - 6: 0

27.10.2023

Ukraine — Luxembourg — 6:0

Northern Macedonia - Armenia - 6: 0

30.10.2023

North Macedonia - Ukraine - 1: 2

Armenia — Luxembourg — 1:0

Standings

 

 Structure

G

W

D

L

GD

P

1

 Ukraine

3

3

0

0

14-1

9

2

 North Macedonia

3

2

0

1

11-2

6

3

 Armenia

3

1

0

2

1-12

3

4

 Luxembourg

3

0

0

3

0-11

0

League A

Group 1: France, Italy, Hungary, Northern Ireland.

Group 2: Czech Republic, England, Greece, Wales.

Group 3: Austria, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro.

Group 4: Germany, Finland, Norway, Israel.

Group 5: Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey. 

Group 6: Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Faroe Islands. 

Group 7: Iceland, Serbia, Belarus, Scotland.

League B.

Group 1: Switzerland, Albania, Lithuania, Cyprus.

Group 2: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein.

Group 3: Slovenia, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Moldova. 

Group 4: Ukraine, North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Armenia.

Group 5: Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Georgia.

Group 6: Romania, Slovakia, Kazakhstan.

The fourth-placed teams in their groups in League A will continue their season in the second round in League B. The seeding of the participants before the second round will depend on the places in their groups the teams will occupy in the first round. The results of the second round of League A will determine the seven teams that will join Lithuania in the final stage of Euro-2024.

In League B, 23 teams will compete for promotion to League A in six groups. The group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the first and third-placed teams in their groups will advance to the top division. Lithuania also participates in the competition, despite the direct pass to the final part, which belongs to it as the host.

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