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14 Jul. 2023

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How Ukraine qualified for the Olympic Games in football for the first time in history: the path of the Ukrainian youth team

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How Ukraine qualified for the Olympic Games in football for the first time in history: the path of the Ukrainian youth team

129 years ago, on July 14, 1894, Ukraine played its first football match. Learn more about the history of Ukrainian football and how the Ukrainian youth team won a ticket to the 2024 Olympic Games for the first time

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Exactly 129 years ago, the first football match in history took place in Ukraine. That is why 14 July is considered the official birthday of Ukrainian football. Read on to find out how the first match took place and the recent achievements of modern Ukrainian football teams. 


Football's birthday in Ukraine


On 14 July 1894, the first football match played on the territory of Ukraine took place in Lviv at the Vystavkovyi Stadium, located in Stryi Park. The match was between the Sokil teams from Lviv and Krakow. 




According to the football rules of the time, the match lasted until the first goal. On the 6th minute of the game, Lviv's Volodymyr Khomytskyi scored the ball, giving the team the victory in the match. 

Read more about Ukrainian football legends here.


Modern Ukrainian football. Youth team 


Recently, the whole of Ukraine could watch the matches of the Euro 2023 Youth Championship. Ukraine's junior team showed an outstanding result, but was defeated in the semi-final stage in a match against Spain with a score of 5:1. 



Photo: Getty Images


Despite the heavy defeat in the semi-final match, the youth team's strong performance in the quarter-finals against France gave the Ukrainian team its first ever ticket to the Olympic Games. The goals in the match against the French were scored by Heorhii Sudakov, who scored a double, and Artem Bondarenko, who put an end to the match by scoring a goal at the end of the game. 

Thus, in 2024, Europe will be represented at the Olympic Games by 4 participating countries: France, Israel, Spain and Ukraine. 

After the Euro 2023 Youth Championship, the U-21 junior national team will receive Olympic status and begin preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games under the leadership of coach Ruslan Rotan. 

We told you more about the Ukrainian Olympic champions here.




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The path to the Olympic Games. Past achievements of Ukrainian juniors


However, it is not the first time that Ukrainian youth teams have shown strong results on world stages. 

● The Ukrainian U-19 team won bronze at Euro 2004;

● In 2006, the U-21 team with young Artem Milevsky won silver at the European Championships, losing in the final to the Netherlands;

● In 2009, the U-21 team led by coach Yuriy Kalytyntsev won the European Championship, defeating England in the final round. At that time, the team featured such well-known players as Denys Harmash, Serhiy Rybalka, Yevhen Shakhov, Serhiy Kryvtsov and other Ukrainian football stars. 

● The Ukrainian U-19 team won bronze at Euro 2018;

● In 2019, the Ukrainian U-20 team led by Oleksandr Petrakov became world champions in their age category, defeating South Korea in the final. 


Ukraine's national team led by a new coach 


Recently, it became known that Serhiy Rebrov became the coach of Ukraine's national football team. For all football fans, this was the most anticipated event, as football fans have long imagined Rebrov as the head coach. 



Photo: UAF press service


Serhiy Rebrov is a true star of Ukrainian football, one of the best players in Ukraine, who at the beginning of his career played for Shakhtar Donetsk and later joined Dynamo Kyiv. 

It is Serhii Rebrov who will be preparing the national team of Ukraine for the next matches in the 2024 European Championship qualifiers. 


We believe in the national team! We wish the main team of Ukraine success and star goals!


We remind you! In a recent match against Germany, the players of the Ukrainian national football team once again demonstrated that they are able to compete with the top teams in Europe. Read about the other times when the Ukrainian team demonstrated a spectacular result against the best teams in our previous article.


Main photo: UAF




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