Ukraine Head Coach Andriy Shevchenko believes the vocal Dnipro crowd among other things helped his side fight back to earn a 2-2 draw against Nigeria in an international friendly on Tuesday.
The Super Eagles were unplayable in the first-half, but didn’t resume the second half as solidly and ultimately gave away a 2-0 first-half lead.
Two quick goals in the second half (78′ and 79′) from Oleksandr Zinchenko and Roman Yaremchuk turned the game around for Ukraine.
Speaking after the game Shevchenko admitted the half time team talk focused on how to exploit Nigeria’s resolute defence and contain the team’s fast paced midfielders.
“First of all, with the loss of command balance. We play with a lot of players in the other half. In meeting a fast-paced and physically fit team like Nigeria, this leads to such problems. After the break, we acted more carefully.
“we talked about it in the break. The guys drew attention to the need to act more carefully.
The Coach also identified the Dnipro fans as another factor for the turn around performance in the concluding half; the Yellow-Blue have not played in Dnieper for 10 years, but couldn’t guarantee they’ll return there soon.
“It depends on the decision of the football association. We try to give the opportunity to see the national team in different regions. The stadium in the Dnieper is very good, the match here was great.”