In Leverkusen, Italy secured a crucial point against Ukraine, securing their qualification for the European Championship as defending champions. Despite a goalless draw, the game was filled with opportunities and controversy, notably a disputed penalty claim by Ukraine’s Mihajlo Mudrik after a collision with Bryan Cristante in the Italian penalty area. However, the referee did not award a penalty, and there was surprise that VAR was not consulted. Ukrainian coach Serhij Rebrov expressed disappointment, believing his team was denied a clear penalty that could have secured their place at the Euros.
The disappointment was palpable among Ukraine fans and players alike, but there is still hope for them to qualify for the European Championship. Germany is also vying for a spot through the playoffs. The final match will determine which team will join Italy and other qualifiers in hosting the tournament next year. It’s anyone’s game at this point.