Scotland try to keep eye on the prize amid Ukraine emotion

31/5/2022 10:46:00 PM

Scotland try to keep eye on the prize amid Ukraine emotion

Scotland try to keep eye on the prize amid Ukraine emotion

GLASGOW, Scotland: Scotland are hoping to reach their first World Cup finals in 24 years but if Steve Clarke\u0027s side are to make it through the playoffs it will have to be at the expense of war-torn Ukraine. The two countries face each other at Hampden Park on Wednesday and the winner will then travel to Ca

GLASGOW, Scotland: Scotland are hoping to reach their first World Cup finals in 24 years but if Steve Clarke's side are to make it through the playoffs it will have to be at the expense of war-torn Ukraine.The two countries face each other at Hampden Park on Wednesday and the winner will then travel to Cardiff for the final playoff game against Wales on Sunday with a place in November's finals on the line.

With so much solidarity and support around the world for Ukraine, the Scots know they will have few neutrals backing them but Clarke said that his players have to block out any thoughts other than the task ahead for them in the 90 minutes on the field.

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LinkedIn GLASGOW, Scotland: Scotland are hoping to reach their first World Cup finals in 24 years but if Steve Clarke's side are to make it through the playoffs it will have to be at the expense of war-torn Ukraine.LinkedIn KYIV: The capture of a sleepy Soviet-era factory town in Ukraine's industrial heartland has become the focus of Russia's invasion as President Vladimir Putin seeks to rebuild momentum after a failed attempt to take the capital Kyiv.Copy to clipboard https://str.LinkedIn Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor says sympathy for Ukraine's plight will have to be put to one side for Wednesday's World Cup playoff semi-final at Hampden Park.

The two countries face each other at Hampden Park on Wednesday and the winner will then travel to Cardiff for the final playoff game against Wales on Sunday with a place in November's finals on the line. With so much solidarity and support around the world for Ukraine, the Scots know they will have few neutrals backing them but Clarke said that his players have to block out any thoughts other than the task ahead for them in the 90 minutes on the field. The city, much of it reduced to rubble by months of attacks culminating in two weeks of intense bombardment, offers little strategic gain beyond its rail and road connections, security experts say. The game was originally scheduled for March but was postponed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. The city, much of it reduced to rubble by months of attacks culminating in two weeks of intense bombardment, offers little strategic gain beyond its rail and road connections, security experts say. Despite domestic football having been halted at home, Ukraine have been determined to give themselves a chance of a place in the World Cup. "The capture of Sievierodonetsk and reaching the boundaries of Luhansk region would be more important for the leadership of Russia from a political point of view . "They made a decision to get their football players out the country and to a training camp because they want to play and want to try to give their nation a boost by qualifying for Qatar," Clarke said on Tuesday."You turn on the news every day and something else has happened.

"The game goes ahead amid the horrific outside influence, but for us, we focus on the game of football," he added... "How you would deal with yourself if you were put in that situation, you don't know until you're actually there, but I've nothing but good thoughts for them and good wishes for them - except for during the game," he said. Scotland ended their long run without a major tournament by qualifying for Euro 2020 and Clarke said he is convinced they won't have a long wait for their next taste of tournament football. "In military terms, of course it will make the situation worse for us, but it won't be crucial. "We said we didn't want to be one-tournament wonders. "In military terms, of course it will make the situation worse for us, but it won't be crucial. I'm convinced that this group of players won't be, whether it's this tournament 2022 in Qatar or (Euro) 2024 in Germany or 2026 World Cup in America," he said. For most of its history it has been a typical Soviet provincial town." Scotland have not qualified for the World Cup since 1998 and McGregor says the motivation is huge.

"I'm desperate to go to Qatar with Scotland and my staff are desperate to go and most importantly our players are desperate to go to the World Cup finals and that's what we focus on," he added. "Before the game, there will be a lot of emotion around the Ukraine and I'm sure the Tartan Army will applaud their national anthem and then sing their hearts out and get behind the team and it's really important for us that they do that. When separatists seized around one-third of Luhansk province, including the capital of the same name, Sievierodonetsk became the administrative centre of the Ukrainian-controlled part of the region. Streets of identical high-rise apartments were interspersed with parks and wide, tree-lined streets, while residents picnicked beside the Siverskyi Donets river and in forests nearby." Source: Reuters .