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Zubkov wants finishing touch from Ukraine

Scorer of a spectacular goal in the defeat by France, striker Olexandr Zubkov believes elimated Ukraine have lacked "that final touch" but is determined to finish positively.

Ukraine striker Olexandr Zubkov in Greece
Ukraine striker Olexandr Zubkov in Greece ©Sportsfile

Ukraine are the first team out of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship following losses in both of their Group A games. Olexandr Zubkov scored a spectacular goal to briefly bring them level against France on Thursday, yet that strike proved in vain as Ukraine eventually went down 3-1. The Shakhtar Donetsk forward talked to UEFA.com about the tournament so far and how his side are determined to finish on a positive note.

Zubkov on… the loss to France
We played well, but we had the same problem as against Greece – we lacked composure when attacking, and couldn't take our chances. We created lots of opportunities and put pressure on our opponents, but something was missing in that final touch.

Zubkov on… his impressive goal against France
You do not score goals like this often. I had the space, I took the shot and the ball went in. I try my luck with such efforts in the national team and at my club and sometimes I am successful. My coaches encourage me to have a go. My team-mates often laugh when they see me charge forward and say that "a goal is in the air".

Highlights: Ukraine 1-3 France

Zubkov on… his own performances in the tournament
I played 20 minutes in the first game, as I was introduced when we were losing in an attempt to get back into the match. In the second match I did my best to show my qualities. My coach trusted me and hopefully I proved him right. I wish I could have scored more.

In the game against France, I had three good efforts on goal, but the ball would always hit that tall French defender who deprived me of more goals. It wasn't my lucky day.

Zubkov on… Greece and France
Greece play as a unit, they have great team spirit and are very compact. France, on the other hand, are very good individually and technically strong – each player can decide a game on his own. They are also physically strong. I would describe them as athletes.

Olexandr Zubkov celebrates his spectacular goal against France
Olexandr Zubkov celebrates his spectacular goal against France©Sportsfile

Zubkov on… Sunday's final group stage match against Austria
There is no chance of us qualifying for the semi-finals any more, after Greece's draw with Austria. We have two days ahead of us to discuss tactics with our coach and prepare for the match.

It's our last match in the tournament and we're aiming for victory, so that everybody can see that there are good players in the Ukrainian squad who fight until the last minute, even when all hope is lost.

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