England could reach Euro final, but Ukraine must improve - Shevchenko

Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko tips England as likely Euro 2020 finalist following his side's 4-0 quarterfinal loss.

Andriy Shevchenko gestures during the quarterfinal contest on Saturday. - AP

Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko tipped England as likely Euro 2020 finalist following his side's 4-0 quarterfinal loss and said that his nation would have to improve its pool of players if it is to compete on the game's biggest stages.

The former Ukraine striker, who spent much of his career playing for AC Milan in Italy before joining English Premier League side Chelsea, said he was not too disappointed with his team's performance, despite the drubbing.


"The English team is really strong, individually and as a team as well, they have a great coach (Gareth Southgate) and they reached the semifinals, and I can see that this team can make it to the final," he told reporters.

"We did not deny our principles, we had good parts of the game, but there are sometimes - set pieces, for example - today we didn't work very well at them."

Shevchenko's team was undone by a Harry Kane double and two headers from set-pieces by Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson, who netted his first international goal. England will face Denmark in the semifinals at Wembley on Wednesday.

'Lot of mistakes'

Ukraine defender Oleksandr Karavaev added: "We made a lot of mistakes, especially from set-pieces. Conceding at the beginning of both halves was especially hard to take. That was a big psychological blow because we were well-prepared for the game."

Four goals up just after the hour mark, England took its foot off the gas as they closed out the game.

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"England played very pragmatically today, they used their strong sides, they exploited our mistakes they played very well, at a top level. They controlled the game," Shevchenko said.

The England team boasts a host of household names, while Shevchenko's squad was mostly drawn from the Ukrainian top flight, rather than the leading five leagues in England, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy.

"Until we have a domestic championship at a good level, we will get to this level less often," the 44-year-old added.

"In order to be able to compete with such players, you need to have players who play in the top five leagues."

Shevchenko said that he and his staff would now take stock before deciding what to do next.

"We're going to go back to Kiev, we'll summarise everything and report on what we have achieved. The federation will have to make a decision (about our futures), there is time to do it, no-one is in a rush," he added.

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