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'Cinderella' Ukraine Poised for Next Round

  • BBC News, Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:31 PM
After a demoralizing 4-0 debut loss to Spain, Ukraine brought itself back to parity by thumping Saudi Arabia by the same score. The win, followed by the good news that Spain beat Tunisia, means the Ukrainians are now likely to qualify with just a point from their final match against the North Africans. "It's a little bit like Cinderella," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin said. "The pumpkin turned into a beautiful coach and the other animals turned into wonderful horses." Awkward analogies notwithstanding, Blokhin may be on to something. If Ukraine goes through and Switzerland manages top Group G with a win against Korea, Blokhin and company will fancy their chances against an inexperienced Swiss side in the second round. For now, Ukraine will be happy to have recovered its form. "After the 4-0 defeat against Spain, when the way we played was embarrassing, we wanted to show we can play," said striker Andriy Voronin. "We had a bit of luck as well."

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