Ukraine beats Scotland in World Cup playoff, the country’s first game since the Russian invasion

In spite of their national league being closed down due to the war, Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 in its World Cup playoff semifinal at Hampden Park in Glasgow Wednesday.

Wednesday’s playoff had originally been scheduled to take place in March, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced the match’s postponement. Ukraine will now face Wales in Cardiff on Sunday in the playoff final.  If they beat Wales, they will reach the World Cup.

Ukraine’s national anthem “Shche ne vmerla Ukrainas” was applauded loudly by Scotland fans. Many of those same fans stayed after the game to salute their victorious opponents off the field.

Some of the Ukrainian fans had traveled far and had made plans to stay in Britain for the decisive playoff Sunday.

George Butromeyev told The Associated Press before the game he came from Toronto with friends to support the players who “need to show the people of Ukraine that we are warriors.”

“It’s not only about football,” said Yaroslav Grygorenko, who traveled from Amsterdam. “It’s important to be on the top of the discussions here in Europe, to not let (people) forget what is happening in Ukraine.”

Scotland-born Alex Demianczuk wore a kilt in Ukrainian yellow and blue colors and wanted his parents’ nation to advance. Ukraine playing at the World Cup, he said, would be “something that’s really going to get on Putin’s nerves.”

Kyiv currently have a curfew between 11pm-5am. The Beer & Meet bar in downtown Kyiv got around the restriction on movement by offering fans the possibility to stay there until 5 a.m., when the curfew ends.

Oleksii Safin, 40, who works as a voice actor, stood with his right hand over his heart as he belted out the national anthem. “It looks like we are having lots of fun but, actually, we are not,” Safin said. “We are trying to look normal, as far as we can, but we still remember what is going on out in the east. It’s a good fight, just like the fight that we have right now with the Russians,” Safin said. “We can show that we can do it.”

This game was Ukraine’s first since the war began.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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