Ukraine vs USA friendly set to go ahead on Wednesday – The Guardian

Posted: Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ukraine’s international game against USA in Cyprus looks set to go ahead.

The match was moved from Kharkiv to Larnaca for security reasons and seemed set to be cancelled on Monday and Ukrainian team spokesman Alexander Glyvynskyy conveyed the players’ collective concern over developments at home.

But on Tuesday Ukraine football association president Anatoliy Konkov said the game would go ahead.

“(We) reached a consensus to play the USA after all,” Konkov said in a statement that also praised the American team. “(They) stood behind us to protect the national interests and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The match, which will be played at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, is a key warm-up for the United States ahead of this year’s World Cup. But for Ukraine, who failed to qualify for the tournament in Brazil, it will serve as preparation for the qualifying tournament for the 2016 European Championship.

“This game is a huge opportunity, mainly for our European-based players, for those guys to prove to us that they are eager and hungry to jump on the train to the FIFA World Cup,” US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium has hosted many of Cyprus’ international matches, but it’s not the Mediterranean island’s top football venue. The GSP Stadium in Nicosia, however, is unavailable because Cyprus are hosting Northern Ireland in another friendly.

It’s the second time in recent weeks that Cyprus has been selected as an alternate venue for a match involving a Ukrainian team. Last month, a Europa League match between Dynamo Kiev and Valencia was moved to the Cypriot capital.

Guardian US will have live minute-by-minute coverage of the game on Wednesday, 2pm ET / 9pm Cyprus


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