Ukraine football team plays for first time since invasion | Inquirer Sports
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Ukraine football team plays for first time since invasion

/ 03:24 PM May 12, 2022
Ukraine football

The Ukrainian team sings the national anthem before the friendly football match between German first division Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine’s naional football team, in preparation for Ukraine’s upcoming World Cup play-off match in Moenchengladbach, western Germany on May 11, 2022. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP)

Ukraine’s national football team played its first game since the invasion by Russia on Wednesday, beating German club Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in a friendly organized to raise funds for victims of the conflict.

Thousands of spectators waved Ukrainian flags and joined the players in relaying a message of support to a country that came under attack from Russia on February 24.

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“This match is very important, for our team and for our country,” said former Ukraine international Andriy Voronin, who was commentating on the match for German TV channel ProSieben.

“We feel that we’re not alone, the whole world is behind us.”

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Ukraine plays Scotland in a World Cup play-off semifinal in Glasgow on June 1. The winners of that match face Wales four days later in Cardiff with a place in Qatar at stake.

Coach Oleksandr Petrakov gathered 23 players from Ukrainian clubs last week to begin preparations at the Slovenia FA’s training center near Ljubljana.

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