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Sarnavskiy wants more from Ukraine

Goalkeeper Bogdan Sarnavskiy says Ukraine are yet to find their best form, despite drawing considerable satisfaction from their opening Group B draw against Serbia.

Ukraine goalkeeper Bogdan Sarnavskiy in a UEFA.com photoshoot
Ukraine goalkeeper Bogdan Sarnavskiy in a UEFA.com photoshoot ©Sportsfile

Bogdan Sarnavskiy believes there is more to come from Ukraine as they look to build on a hard-earned draw against holders Serbia.

Contesting the UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals for the first time since winning the trophy on home soil in 2009, Oleksandr Petrakov's side made a flying start in Gyor as Mykyta Burda headed them in front with only 42 seconds gone. Serbia swiftly levelled, however, and with neither side able to manage a second goal, each had to settle for a point. "I'm happy with the result, but I assure you we can play much better than that," Sarnavskiy told UEFA.com.

"Of course, we wanted to win our first game, but we need to be realistic – based on the way we played, we should be happy with a point," the goalkeeper added, admitting his side had ridden their luck a little with Serbia substitutes Luka Jović and Danilo Pantić both seeing shots come back off the woodwork in the final quarter of the match. "As the saying goes, the best sound for a goalkeeper is the sound of a ball hitting the post, so I thank God for that."

Serbia managed 15 shots on goal at the ETO Park Stadion but, despite making a number of fine stops – including two one-on-ones with Veljko Simić – Sarnavskiy played down his personal contribution. "I don't think I should be regarded as our hero. It was a team effort to get a draw and the first point. Everyone contributed. The first line of defence is attack, after all."

With a pivotal fixture against Bulgaria looming large on Tuesday, the FC Shakhtar Donetsk custodian knows improvement is needed if Ukraine are to maintain their hopes of a top-two finish in Group B. "I am sure the coaches will make the necessary amendments, as only a win will do for us in the next match against Bulgaria. The first match was not us at our limit at all – it was only a beginning. You will see a much-improved side on Tuesday."