It was announced in the FIFA world that there would be a few matches between some final qualifying matches into the 2010 FIFA World Cup. One of these included soccer giants, Greece and underdogs Ukraine.
While most may be calling Greece to win the two games there is reason for why Ukranian fans should not be worried about our chances. Does anyone remember our run last year?
We made it all the way up to the quarter finals. For a team that was in the World Cup for the first time that was a terrific result. Plus the team we lost to was Italy. Italy would later go on to win the championships so there is no shame in that. Right?
They had some pretty good wins and looked pretty good. This really brought the excitement in Ukraine up for Soccer. People started cheering more. More Ukranian soccer players got recognized across the world in club play. It was a good time.
Now the question is can we do it all over again?
I believe we can. We have proved ourselves time and time again. We have beat different top teams during this time. Does the recent win over England ring a bell? And despite them not being a top team, how about that ass kicking match where we beat Andorra 6-0. It was amazing.
After 10 games we sit second with 21 points. Second to England of course. We look like we could definately pull of the upset. Does anyone also remember that Greece failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup? I bet Greece fans have forgot about it or have decided to forget, but for a team that is suppose to be good in soccer that is not a good thing.
While they were just at home watching the World Cup, we were playing in it, giving it our all and making history for the country. So when those games come I expect them to give it their all and bring it on home.
Now the fact that they can beat Greece doesn't mean they are gonna go far like last time, but I wouldn't put it past them. With guys like Voronin, Shevchenko, Shovkovsky(our goalie), etc. we look to get in there once again.
For the first game on November 14th I expect Ukraine to bring it to the table. I expect them to get maybe a few early ones in and run with it. Keeping the ball away from Greece can be key in this match. If you keep the ball on your feet and carry it to the net good things will happen. I think if they can keep the ball for more than 60% of the time they should be fine. Good defending is another important thing you must have. Despite many not knowing this well we do truly have a great goalie in our back end. Then all you need is contributions from the strikers and midfielders and you got a win.
Bold First Game Prediction: 2-0
So making a bold call there, but I think Ukraine will beat them two to nothing. I think Shevy will certainly contribute especially when the stakes are this high and you can also look out for a bad bounce or own goal to make it two.
For Game 2 the game plan for Ukraine should be the same. Keep the ball, work hard, score, etc. Knowing that Greece lost the first time makes them more determined this time so you really got to match their effort. The thing is you're not looking for a win here. A tie will do the trick and put you through to the next round.
Bold Second Game Prediction: 1-1
I think with Greece pressing harder they will try much harder then they did in the first game. They won't underestimate them again. Still I believe they can match it and push it to a tie to advance.
So with that said I will be anticipating these two meetings and hoping that lady luck will be on our side for those two games. So let's hope for us Ukrainian fans that we can do it all again and keep Greece out again while putting ourselves in, again!