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Oleksandr Zinchenko speaks out on Ukraine penalty controversy...
Ukraine appeared to be denied a clear penalty against Italy for a foul on Mykhaylo Mudryk (EPA)
Oleksandr Zinchenko refused to blame the referee and VAR after Ukraine were denied a penalty in their goalless draw with Italy on Monday evening.
Italy secured their place at Euro 2024 with the stalemate in Leverkusen, while Ukraine need to win in the play-offs in March in order to qualify for the tournament next summer.
But Ukraine were denied a chance to win the game in stoppage time after Bryan Cristante appeared to clip Mykhailo Mudryk inside Italy’s penalty area. Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano waved away Ukraine’s protests, while VAR opted not to ask the official to review his decision.
When asked about the penalty call going against Ukraine, Zinchenko said: ‘To be honest, I didn’t watch the replay.
‘The result is already there, so I don’t like to comment on the referee’s decisions. In the dressing room, the guys were saying something, but for me it’s already over.’
Drama in Leverkusen! ð¤¯Mykhailo Mudryk is denied a late spot kick and Italy go through to the Finals ð¬#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/VoTWvMZ1nO— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) November 20, 2023
In a separate interview with Suspilne Sport, Zinchenko said: ‘We didn’t qualify for the European Championship, but there are still chances [to make it] through the playoffs.
‘We hoped to get a positive result. I will say that, apart from the result, we managed to show a decent game against the reigning European champions.
‘The most important thing – and we talked about this with the guys before the game – is to do everything so that, despite the result, we can look each other in the eye, shake hands properly and say that we did everything. This is what we did today, but the result, on unfortunately, not in our favour.
‘The Italians caused us a lot of problems in the first game through those areas, when they came from deep between the centre-backs and the wing-backs.
‘We analysed that and the coaching staff decided to make changes. They had a lot less chances.’
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