UEFA EURO 2012 is over for the Ukraine national team, and while Artem Milevskiy, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Yaroslav Rakitskiy were well aware of the chances they passed up in their final Group D defeat by England, all three agreed that the tournament had been an unforgettable experience.
Artem Milevskiy, Ukraine forward
We really did get a lot of chances. The ones for Marko [Dević] and me were 100% chances. I think we probably weren't cool enough at those moments. England only needed to draw, so we knew that they would play in their own half and look to counterattack with the very quick players that they have, like Ashley Young and [Wayne] Rooney. But I think that we played well, we were holding on to the ball and played aggressively – we tackled them well. We deserved to be ahead, but then we conceded out of nowhere and that has hurt us.
I would like to thank our fans very much for supporting us in Kyiv and in Donetsk. The atmosphere was simply great. It was like a national holiday. My own family came, and they loved it. My close friends and my family supported us. It was a great celebration, for them, for us, for the whole country, and it was great playing here.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Ukraine midfielder
We played a good, structured game. We had a lot of good chances to score. Unfortunately, we conceded a goal and afterwards the game became much more difficult. However, after the goal we had two clear scoring chances. It is quite nice to think that we have played well, that we fought until the bitter end and that we wanted to win this match.
When you look back on the game, I don't think that we deserved to lose. I believe that it has been very beneficial for us to participate in this tournament, and in our own country. We could have played better and progressed from the group stage – if we had won, we would have advanced from the group as winners, since the French lost today. However, this is how football is, we earned three precious points, and with that we have to end our campaign at this EURO.
I can only thank all those fans for their support and the atmosphere in the stadium. I hope that there will be wonderful matches ahead at the finals and a lot of great goals. Naturally, the supporters will continue to come to the matches because this is the EURO, it is a huge tournament. I can only wish them all the best.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Ukraine defender
We played well today. We didn't convert the chances we had. We didn't get through and that is a shame. We should accept it, get on with our lives and play football.
I don't think it was down to our mentality. We have both young and experienced players. Everybody was psychologically prepared. Today we had a lot of chances but we couldn't score. I'll say it again: in general, we played well today. That's all there is to say. We showed no fear. We played well. We controlled the whole game but had no luck. I was very glad that I played in the third match at the EURO. I have never played at a EURO, and it will be a great experience to look back on for the rest of my life.
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