U21. Dnipro vs Shakhtar: player views

Players of the Donetsk team on the match with Dnipro.

Yevhen Gritsenko, Shakhtar U21 goalkeeper:

- Yes, I rescued the team today, but one cannot congratulate on that. We still failed to win, and it was strategically important. The result is generally good, with the quality of play from both teams not been very high. The quality of the pitch affected both us and the opponents, so it was more of a fight than football. How did I manage to save a penalty? I play for the national team together with Bliznichenko, and I know very well where he shoots - in this case, to my right. The rebound was difficult; it’s good that Taras Kacharaba covered. The opponents created chances after the break too. The defence played not very well, and so there is a lot of work to do. But in this situation, we are pleased with a draw.

Mykhailo Shyshka, Shakhtar U21 captain:

- The pitch was not comfortable for us, it was also because we have trained on synthetics recently. The first 20 minutes were unsuccessful, but then we managed to gather momentum. Anyway, it was very hard. We played in uncharacteristic football for us, although Dnipro made mistakes. By and large, it was an evenly matched game, if we do not take into account the missed penalty, although it seemed to me that there was no foul. There was an equal number of chances. With regard to the holding midfield area, Korobenko and I were playing very cautiously because we already had yellow cards. Anyway, the team defended a lot today.

Vasyl Sagaidak, Shakhtar U21 defender:

- In this match I had to work hard in defence. Dnipro created a lot of problems for us; they were better adapted to the field, using long balls and imposing physical football. It’s good that we kept a clean sheet today - this is important! Although we failed to convert our chances. We tried to hit Dnipro on the break, with also using long passes when making transitions from defence – this was also part of our tactics. The field was really not very good, but the result is fair, and the penalty kick is a lottery, as it turned out.