Ukraine can be satisfied with their opening match on the road against France, as they managed to come with a 1:1 draw, despite being a strong underdog.
They conceded early in the 19th minute over Griezmann and overly looking showed almost nothing during this encounter, but still had great fighting spirit against a much stronger rival.
However, they were lucky enough to level up later on in the 57th when Kimpembe had the misfortune of deflecting the shoot into his net. This surely comes as a valuable point, but it had to be said the Ukrainians took it undeservedly.
Midfielders Yarmolenko (92/38, West Ham), Stepanenko (59/3, Shakhtar Donetsk), Tsyhankov (25/5, Dynamo Kiev), and forwards Besyedin (13/2, Dynamo Kiev) and Kravets (23/8, Konyaspor) are missing out this time.
Finland opened their WC campaign with a 2:2 draw last Wednesday evening against the visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a more or less, balanced clash.
Both sides aggressively opened the match, but all the action in this was reserved for the second part. The guests took the lead in the 55th when Pjanic redeemed himself for the previously missed penalty, but the hosts responded in the best way possible, scoring two over Pukki in the next twenty-two minutes.
Unfortunately for Finland, the visitors had the final word in this clash, as they were effective one more time in the last ten minutes and set the final result, which was quite fair, considering their performance on the field.
Goalkeeper Hradecky (64/0, Leverkusen), defenders Uronen (47/1, Genk), Lam (24/0, Zwolle), midfielder Niskanen (6/1, Ingolstadt) and forward Tuominen (15/1, Hacken) are missing compared to previous call-ups.
There is much more with the hosts
It had to be said that despite their poor appearance, the Ukrainians accomplished quite a feat in their first match. They simply couldn’t do much more against one of the best nations in the world, but now they have a perfect chance for a three-pointer.
Overly looking, their game-play is far more versatile, are well morale-boosted now, and I see them taking a victory against Finland that showed a certain dose of insecurity in their backline.