Thursday, September 13, 2007

What do you do when you lose? Blame the press for cursing you!

Ukraine boss blames press, Shevchenko rues missed chances
Thursday September 13, 10:07 PM

KIEV, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Coach Oleg Blokhin has blamed journalists for Ukraine's disappointing Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, accusing them of putting a curse on his team.
"You guys kept saying I was a lucky coach when we qualified for the (2006) World Cup," he told reporters after a 2-1 defeat by world champions Italy on Wednesday left Ukraine with almost no chance of reaching next year's finals from a tough Group B.

"I think you just put a curse on my team," he added.

Blokhin, who blasted his players for a "shameless performance" in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Georgia in Tbilisi, again pulled no punches in his post-match comments.

"We dominated in the first half but just couldn't put away our chances, while they scored with their first shot on goal," said the former Soviet striker, voted European player of the year in 1975.

"You can't win if you keep wasting your chances."

The home defeat left the Euro 2012 co-hosts in fourth place, eight points behind surprise group leaders Scotland, who have 21 points after beating World Cup runners-up France 1-0 in Paris, with Italy second (20 points) and France (19) third.


Although Ukraine have a game in hand of their rivals, Blokhin conceded their qualifying hopes had all but disappeared.

"We now have only a one-in-a-million chance to qualify," he said. "But we still have four more games to play and we'll try to finish on a high note."

Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's liveliest player on Wednesday, blamed bad luck for his many misses.

"In some ways, we outplayed them but their better class made the difference in the end," said the Chelsea striker.

"They used their few chances to the maximum while we were just unlucky," added the Ukraine captain, who tested Gianluigi Buffon on several occasions but was only able to beat Italy's keeper once when he equalised in the 72nd minute.

However, it was only a short reprieve for the home team as Italy midfielder Antonio Di Natale scored the winner with his second goal five minutes later.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger Bradpetehoops said...

Have a great day!


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