In international football, one team has taken center stage since Ukraine won the semi-finals of World Cup qualifiers 3-1 in Scotland. That was on Wednesday, the 97th day, when Russian tanks roll through Ukraine, when Russian missiles fly through Ukraine, when Russian soldiers kill in Ukraine.
And yet, according to an ESPN report, people have gathered in the capital Kyiv to cheer for their national team. This gave them a distraction for an evening – and what is probably more important in this war: attention in the western world.
Stories are told there again. From defender Mykola Matviyenko, who was in bed with his wife and child when the first bomb exploded. From midfielder Taras Stepanenko, who stood in front of the house with a baseball bat, where his wife and three children were hiding in the basement.
From striker Andriy Jarmolenko, who was unable to eat or sleep in England because his wife and child had traveled to Ukraine for a doctor’s appointment the day before the Russian attack. And so it is already clear before the final of the World Cup qualification against Wales this Sunday (6 p.m. on DAZN): The Ukrainian national team has done its part.