Head coach of the Ukrainian junior futsal team U-19 Igor Moskvichev commented on the team’s entry into the European Championship 2023.
In group 2 of the main round of Euro 2023 U-19 qualifiers, the matches of which were hosted by the Serbian city of Vrnjacka Banja, the blue-yellows, having beaten Montenegro (12:1), Romania (7:3) and Serbia (4:2), took the first place and thus made it to the third of three European Championships.
Also in the final tournament were Croatia (host), Slovenia, Portugal, Finland, France, Spain and Italy.
Team head coach Igor Moskvichev rated the performance in qualifying:
– Congratulations to you and the team on reaching the finals of Euro 2023! Tell us, what are the emotions after achieving such a result?
– Probably, the last time I experienced such emotions was when I became the champion with Prodexim Kherson for the first time as a coach. In fact, I really liked the attitude of the guys to the case. Team captain Dmitry Skibchik and vice-captain Maxim Malinovsky led the team. I would also note the quality of the team’s game. We didn’t have much time to prepare. I want to express my gratitude to the futsal players for their fruitful work and reaching the final part of Euro 2023.
– As for the match against Serbia, how do you think, how fast did the goal help to calm the game?
– Of course, a quick goal always helps. The guys had a task to withstand the pressure of the opponent for five minutes and not concede. The Serbian national team played their matches with six or seven people and in previous matches they always scored quick goals, and then they became less strong. It was difficult, but we not only survived, but also scored. After that, it became easier for us. I can say that the Ukrainian team even slightly overfulfilled the plan.
– You noted that at the training camp before the main round, you managed to improve such a component as the implementation of standards. It’s probably nice that in the match with Serbia several goals were scored after their draws?
– Of course, we are satisfied with the work on this component. We scored from set pieces in every game. It helped a lot. Not bad realized corners and outs, but we need to work on free throws. Let’s do it in the future.
– When did you realize during the match with the Serbs that the team would not miss the victory?
– After the first half, we were ahead with a score of 3:0. This gave me hope. To be honest, I thought that the opponent would start playing in the artificial majority earlier than 10 minutes before the end of the match. The Serbs played many friendly matches, but before that they had never played this component. Of course, our guys know what to do under any circumstances, but the opponent’s tactics in such a situation were unknown to us.
When we conceded the first goal, I was a little upset, because it was completely optional and scored from a long distance. After that, the stands became more active (fans actively supported the hosts initially, but after the score became 2:0 in our favor, there was silence). So doubts crept in a little, but the confidence that we will hold out and score again has not disappeared anywhere. In my opinion, the team really had a good match. The guys managed to block off their pillars. This made the game much more difficult for the opponents.
– During the main round, the Ukrainian national team managed to score 23 goals, but the team does not have a pronounced scorer. In your opinion, is this a positive thing or not?
– I think it’s positive. If one person scores, then it is easier to neutralize him. While almost everyone scores goals, let the opponents think about who should be excluded from the game first. This is a plus, because no one knows who will score tomorrow – the conditional Malinovsky or Snitsarenko. If the opponents will analyze us individually before the next matches, they will have something to break their heads over.
– The final part of the youth Euro 2023 will take place in September. What are the future plans of the team?
– The primary task for the Ukrainian team was to reach the finals. This task has been completed. We have a specific training plan agreed with Sergey Vladyk. Of course, we will hold sparring matches, but for now I will not advertise the preliminary agreements. In my opinion, the preparation for the main round went pretty well. I hope the same will happen before the final part of the European Championship.