06 October 2017 – Despite the great efforts and good play that Kosovo’s National Team showed, again, it lacked positive result. In the 9th match within the World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018, our National Team lost to Ukraine with 2: 0. The first half ended with no goals and both teams had some half chances, but the goals remained intact. The first chance was given to our players in the 12th minute when Rashica crossed from the right wing but Muriqi failed to hit the ball. Two minutes later, Bersant Celina broke through from the left but his shot from long distance was easily defended by Pyatov. On the other hand, the first chance for Ukraine came in the 17th minute when Konoplyanka shot furiously but Ujkani managed to hit the ball. Meanwhile, in the 23rd minute when Konopolyanka hit the pole the deviated ball was sent over the goal by Kravets. At the beginning of the second half, Kosovo remained without Hekuran Kryeziu who was forced to leave the match due to injury being replaced then by Rashani. As soon as he entered the match, he came to a very good position, but Halimi’s assist to him was stopped by Muriqi accidentally losing a very good chance. And when one hour passed, Ukraine found the leading goal and thanks to Leart Paçarada’s own goal sending thus Konoplyanka’s cross to Ujkani’s goal. Kosovo was denied a clean penalty in the 69th minute when a Ukrainian player touched the ball manually inside the area when near him was Rashica. Our players had another chance in the 75th minute but Rashan’s strike was defended by the rival’s goalkeeper. And when Kosovo made an effort to turn the balance into the result, a goal came that sealed everything for the fate of this challenge. It was the 84th minute when a ball deviated by our defence after Stepanenkos’s strike was sent to goal by Yarmolenko with a strong shot. Kosovo’ National Team will play the upcoming and final match for this qualifying round on 9th October against Iceland in Reykjavik.
Kosovo – Ukraine 0:2 (0:0)
Stadium: “Loro Boriçi” Shkodër.
Referees: Craig Pawson, Lee Betts, Ian Hussin and Martin Atkinson.
Scorers: Paçarada (60’own goal), Yarmolenko (87) for Ukraine
YC Kryeziu (Kos) and Kravets, Odets (UKR)
Kosovo: Ujkani, Musolli, Kryeziu (Rashani), Rashica, Halimi, Celina, Rrahmani, Vojvoda, Muriqi (Nuhiu), Paqarada, Jashanica.
Ukraine: Pyatov, Khacheridi, Matviyenko, Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka (Bulaskyi), Kravets (Marlos), Rotan (Stepanenko), Sydorchuk, Karavaiev, Garmash and Ordets.