Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ukraine goes home proud after reaching last eight

HAMBURG, Germany -- Debutants Ukraine bowed out of the World Cup proud of reaching the quarter-finals although their style has won them few admirers.
Coach Oleg Blokhin's side exited the tournament after a 3-0 defeat by Italy on Friday but they had already surpassed their aim of qualifying from Group H and return home satisfied.
Among the dark horses after an impressive qualifying campaign in which they became the first European team to clinch a place at the finals, Ukraine never really sparkled on the pitch but they nevertheless managed to grind out results.
"We are completely happy with our performance," said Blokhin. "We did very well for the first time.
"We made it to last 16, to the quarter finals. As a coach I'm really happy with their performance."
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