‘Stop War’: Ukraine returns to action with friendly against Gladbach

17 May 2022 | 08:24 | Football

A match for peace and an end to the war in Ukraine. Photo: Reuters


A match for peace and an end to the war in Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

Oleksandr Pikhalionok scored the winning goal as Ukraine beat Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in a friendly on Wednesday in the national team’s first match since the country was invaded by Russia.

The match at Borussia-Park was attended by more than 20,000 spectators, and all proceeds went to relief efforts in Ukraine. Players from both teams held up a “Stop fighting” banner before the match started.

It also doubles as a warm-up for Ukraine ahead of the World Cup playoff semi-final against Scotland on June 1, with the winner going to face Wales for a spot in the final in Qatar later in the year. now.

Mykhaylo Mudryk opened the scoring in the ninth minute but Conor Noss leveled it five minutes later before Pikhalionok dropped a late strike to seal the win for Ukraine.

It was Ukraine’s first game since a 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in November.

The visitors only supply players from their own domestic clubs after the Ukrainian Premier League season was terminated last month due to the invasion of Moscow.

“The first game,” said Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov, “the team hasn’t played for six months, I haven’t worked for six months.

“I have no questions for the boys, at this stage they’ve been good, they’ve done well. There were a lot of mistakes, we’ll fix them.”

Ukraine will play next friendlies against Italy’s Empoli and Croatia’s Rijeka before meeting Scotland.