Vyacheslav Shevchuk: First goal gave us energy

After the victory over Luxembourg, Shakhtar’s and the Ukraine national team defender has commented on the match for the TV channel Futbol 1.

- The first time was very hard for us. At the beginning of the game, we conceded a counterattack, the ball hit the crossbar, that is, luck was on our side. Then, we created a number of chances, but not clear cut ones. In the second half, we played more aggressive in attack, scored twice, then netted the third goal. We operated as agreed before the match.

- In the first half, as the experts say, Luxembourg managed ‘to park the bus’, didn’t they?
- The opponents defended very well. Luxembourg have a skilled team. I do not want our journalists to think that this team are very weak. Believe me, they have had great matches, including the Italy game three months ago, when they lost 0:1. They have a good team, skilled players who play in fairly good championships. Maybe the reporters pressing with saying that Luxembourg are a weak team did not have a good impact on us. But we all knew, watched a lot of matches and were ready for the fact that the opponent can cause trouble.

- What did coaches say after the first half? Perhaps there were some additional instructions, changes?
- We were originally going into the game gearing up to close down the opponents as high as possible, without allowing our opponents to control the ball. In fact, this what happened. Luxembourg had only two counter-attacks for the entire match, due to the fact that we were properly regrouping.

- After the first goal, did it become clear that for Luxembourg it was already difficult to even the score?
- Yes, the first goal, we can say, a little bit lifted us up, gave us energy. Then we scored the second. When the score became 2:0, we already had the confidence and were calm.

- In the second half Ukraine’s superiority in terms of the class and physical condition was evident.
- I think that both physically and in terms of class, we are stronger than Luxembourg. But on the football field discipline can beat the class. Anything can happen.

- What memories remain after two games with Luxembourg?
- I see that their team are growing. I think in the next cycle the Luxembourg team will be much stronger. This progress is demonstrated by Faroe Islands, who twice defeated the Greeks. But for us the match with Luxembourg was also difficult because it was the last game. In our thoughts, we already want to relax. Especially this season was difficult for the players of Shakhtar. We have not played at home for the whole year, in the last six months have had 60 flights. It is very difficult. We have no days off, we permanently recover and play matches without our fans, without our stadium. Believe me, it's very hard.

FC Shakhtar