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. 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 on both sides. On one hand, Italy had successfully defended their title and qualified for the Euros. On the other hand, Ukraine felt that they had been wrongly denied an opportunity to secure their spot at the tournament through a controversial penalty call. However, there is still hope for Ukraine to qualify for the European Championship as Germany is also vying for a spot through the playoffs. The outcome of these games will determine which teams will make it to compete at this year’s European Championship.