Blokhin Far From Satisfied With Ukraine Display

BERLIN, Germany -- Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin was less than satisfied with the 1-0 win over Tunisia on Friday, even though it earned his World Cup debutants a place in the last 16.

Ukraine's Andriy Voronin (R) reaches for the ball as Tunisia's Radhi Jaidi (L) challenges during their Group H World Cup 2006 soccer match in Berlin June 23, 2006.

He said the dismissal of Tunisia forward Ziad Jaziri on the stroke of halftime seemed to work against his side, rather than for them.

"After the sending-off it was like a bad joke for the Ukrainians," Blokhin told reporters.

"Ukraine suddenly stopped playing football...there were disciplinary issues on the field which is inexcusable for a great team."

Striker Andriy Shevchenko, who scored the penalty that won the game, agreed.

"There was a lot of pressure and that is why the team was unable to play more varied football," he said.

In Kiev, about 20,000 fans in Independence Square cheered wildly and sprayed each other with champagne after Shevchenko scored the goal which earned a second-round meeting with France, Switzerland or South Korea.

Many young men stripped to the waist to beat the searing heat in the capital.

Cars raced through the city centre tooting horns to celebrate Ukraine's achievement.

"I'm not so sure that penalty was entirely justified," said Pavlo, a fan in his early 20s with a blue and yellow national flag painted on his cheek.

"But the main thing is we got through."

"We waited so long to see something like this," said Olexiy, who was also draped in a national flag.

"We're in the next round. I'm delighted."

A smaller crowd watched the match in a downpour in the western city of Lviv and fans also watched on a big screen in Donetsk, Ukraine's second big soccer town in the industrial east.

Source: Reuters