Ireland slipped to a second straight 1-0 loss on Wednesday night as a Ukraine The team won at the Aviva Stadium four days after Kenny’s men lost in Armenia to leave them bottom of League B, Group 1.
The manager, whose team host Scotland in Dublin on Saturday, said: “We are in pain at the moment and we don’t have time for that because it’s fast here. We have to prepare for the Scotland.
When asked if he was surprised his team hadn’t opened his account, Kenny added: “We wanted to do that and we didn’t for sure, especially with the game. against Armenia.
“We always knew Ukraine would be a tough game – they reached the quarter-finals of the European Championships, they’re a quality team, so it was always going to be a tough game. But of course we would like points. I’m just furious that we didn’t get at least one win there in the two tight games.”
Kenny’s men have failed to win any of the 12 games they have played in the competition and his hopes of topping the group are in tatters.
Ukraine finally secured victory thanks to a free kick from half-time substitute Viktor Tsygankov in the 48th minute, which caught goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher as he curled towards the far post without getting the touch that he waited on the part of the men he passed.
Shane Duffy may have snatched the draw 11 minutes from time when he shook the crossbar with a header, but it was the visitors, roared by the 3,500 Ukrainians now living in Ireland among a crowd of 40 111 people at Aviva Stadium, who prevailed.
Kenny said: “The goal itself was a fluke, it was just a free kick that took a huge leap from the ground into the net. I can’t fault the players, the players left it all there. They gave absolutely everything.
“I asked them before the game: ‘It’s not enough to give 100%, you have to extract every ounce of yourself to try to get the result you need’, and I thought the players had absolutely given everything of themselves there tonight.
Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov made 10 changes to the side which suffered a devastating 1-0 defeat in Sunday’s World Cup play-off final in Wales, giving seven men a competitive debut.
But he saw his deputies do the job, admittedly without too much fanfare, and was glad to have made the Ukrainians smile among the crowd.
He said: “It is clear that it is a very difficult time when Ukrainians come to see us play in Ireland, Ukrainians who have been accepted by this incredible hospitality of the Irish people. You have taken in our wives and children who risked their lives in Ukraine and I want to express our gratitude to all of Ireland.
“I understand those Ukrainians who were in the stands today, all they wanted to see was just some positivity from our team. But at the same time, they really want to go home , to go back to Ukraine and we made them a little happier tonight. That’s the biggest achievement, in my opinion.
We don’t have time to dwell on Ukraine’s defeat – Republic boss Stephen Kenny
Source link We don’t have time to dwell on Ukraine’s defeat – Republic boss Stephen Kenny