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World Cup Participation




Ukraine National Football Team History

Before 1991, Ukrainian players were on the Soviet Union national team. Seven of the 11 starters on the Soviet team that were runners up at Euro 1988 were from Ukraine. When the USSR collapsed, many Ukrainian players chose to play for Russia, since they were the official successor of the Soviet Union.

The Ukraine national football team became a FIFA member in 1992 and played their first match in the same year. Ukraine lost 3-1 to Hungary and won their first game in 1993 against Lithuania. Ukraine were not able to enter into 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, so the first major tournament they attempted to qualify for was Euro ’96.

They were unable to qualify for Euro but got close to making the 1998 World Cup. However, Ukraine lost to Croatia in a playoff. Notably, Ukraine finished ahead of Russia in Euro 2000 and qualified but were unable to make the tournament.

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Ukraine’s 2006 World Cup Debut

The year 2006 marked Ukraine’s World Cup debut and they exceeded expectations. Star striker Andriy Shevchenko scored two group stage goals as the Blue and Yellow advanced to the round of 16. After a scoreless draw with Switzerland, the Ukraine national football team won on penalties and made the quarterfinals. There, they lost 3-0 to eventual champions Italy.

The next major tournament Ukraine qualified for was Euro 2012. They won one of their three matches but were eliminated in the group stage. Ukraine qualified again in both 2016 and 2020. In the latter, Artem Dovbyk scored a dramatic last-minute extra-time winner to send Ukraine to the quarterfinals for the first time. They, however, fell to England.

Ukraine were one match away from qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup but lost a playoff to Wales.

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