Despite a goalless draw, Italy secured a crucial point against Ukraine in Leverkusen and qualified for the European Championship as the defending champion. The game was full of opportunities and controversy, with a particularly contentious penalty claim by Ukraine’s Mykhailo Mudryk after a collision with Brian Cristante in Italy’s penalty area. However, the referee did not award a penalty, and it was surprising that VAR was not consulted.
The disappointment was palpable among both teams, but especially for Ukraine, who had hoped to secure a place in the European Championship with this victory. The head coach of Ukraine, Serhiy Rebrov, expressed his disappointment at the decision, arguing that his team had been denied a clean penalty that could have ensured their qualification.
However, there is still hope for Ukraine to qualify for the European Championship. Germany is also fighting for a place in the play-offs, and any result from their upcoming match against Portugal could determine who advances to the next stage of competition.