When Ukraine hosts Nigeria on Tuesday at Dnipro-Arena Stadium on Tuesday, it will be the seventh time, the country will be facing an African team since it broke off from the old Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukraine used to be one of the republics in the old USSR until the early 1990s. The Ukraine Football Association and the national team were established in 1991.
The country boasts of impressive results in the preceding six encounters with African teams. Will Nigeria be the first African side to beat Ukraine? That will be answered on Tuesday.
Both had met at the U-20 World Cup and stalemated scorelines at 1-1. It was that same score line that Ukraine had in their first ever outing with an African team.
That was on February 18, 2004 when Ukraine met Libya. In June 2006, Ukraine had two friendly matches with Tunisia and Libya. The first was played on June 6 and Ukraine beat Tunisia 1-0. The other match on June 23, the Ukrainians beat Libya 3-0.
On June 2, 2013, Ukraine played goalless draw with Cameroon. Nigeria’s northern neighbours, Niger Republic lost 2-1 to Ukraine on May 22, 2014 while Morocco held the Ukrainians to a 0-0 draw on May 31 last year.
Both Gernot Rohr who will be leading the Super Eagles and Andriy Shevchenko who will be leading his country men were both former players.
While Rohr was a former defender who played for four different clubs including Bayern Munich and French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, his counterpart Andriy Shevchenko was a former striker who equally played for four different clubs including AC Milan and Chelsea.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr
While Rohr’s resume indicate that he has managed seven different clubs and four national teams the current being the Super Eagles, Shevchenko started as National team assistant coach in 2016 and later confirmed as national team coach and has been on the saddle now for three years.
As at July 2019, Ukraine are 25th on the log with 1513 points while Nigeria occupy the 33rd Position with 1481 points.
Highest world cup record:
Ukraine best outing was in 2006 in Germany where the Yellow and Blue made it to the Quarterfinals before crashing out following 3-0 defeat by The Azures of Italy.
Nigeria’s best outings were three time round of 16 finishes in USA 94, France 98 and Brazil 2014.
Head to Head:
Ukraine coach Shevchenko
Tuesday’s tie will be the first meeting of both countries at the senior level. In their last six matches Ukraine won four and drew two against Portugal and Turkeywhile Nigeria won four against Tunisia, South Africa, Cameroon and Guinea all at the last Nations cup in Egypt but losing to Madagascar and Algeria respectively.
What to expect: Opportunity for new players in the Eagles’ fold to showcase their skills. Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, midfielders Joe Aribo, and Anderson Esiti and striker Josh Maja.
Goalkeeper: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye.
Defenders: Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Brian Idowu, Jamiliu Collins.
Midfielders: Joe Aribo, Anderson Esiti, Oghenekaro Etebo, Alex Iwobi.
Forwards: Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Josh Maja, Paul Onuachu, Dennis Bonaventure, Samuel Kalu, Moses Simon.