Football: Ukraine prove far too professional as hosts crash out

Ukraine 7 Great Britain 1

The Riverbank Arena

One side was made up of full-time professionals, the other led by a captain who in the months before the Games sold scratchcards to try to muster much-needed funds for his team. If any sport appreciates the difference money makes it is football and nowhere is that more nakedly apparent than in this country. The haves have it all.

In the Paralympics it is the same, except with a radically different cast list. The captain trying to scratch together funds was Matt Dimbylow of Great Britain and there was little he could do yesterday to stop the host nation from being bundled out of the seven-a-side competition with one game in the group stage still to come.

Their conquerors were Ukraine, the defending champions. Yellow jerseys flitted here there and everywhere as pace and movement overwhelmed Britain. Four down after 15 minutes, it finished 7-1. Following Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Brazil it means tomorrow's meeting with the United States has no bearing on who will make the last four.

Ukraine beat the US 9-0 on Sunday and their full-time status has elevated them into a Paralympic league of their own. Wider Ukrainian success has been one of the themes of the Games – when Volodymr Antoniuk led his team on to the blue astroturf of the Riverbank Arena his nation were sitting fourth in the medal table and that is where they aim to finish come Sunday lunchtime.

Since Sydney 2000, Paralympic sport has been well provided for in Ukraine. It does not have to share handouts with Olympic athletes thanks to the tireless campaigning of Valeriy Shushkevich, a government minister and former disabled athlete. Since funding enabled Ukraine's seven-a-side footballers – seven-a-side is for those with cerebral palsy – to go full-time they have won the last two Paralympic gold medals, are world champions and favourites again.

"They are full-time – we are part-time," said Martin Sinclair, brother of Manchester City's Scott. "We only meet up once a month and they train like my brother. But we can't use that as an excuse – they were better than us on the day."

They were comfortably so, not that it was apparent from the support offered by a crowd around a thousand down on the 16,000 full house that had seen Britain lose to Brazil on Sunday.

In truth, there was not much for those in the Riverside to cheer. The contest was up after a quarter of an hour when another slick passing move created space for Oleksandr Devlysh to thunder a fourth goal past Craig Connell, Britain's overworked keeper.

There was finally something concrete to lift the crowd when Ibz Diallo's free-kick floated in, perhaps by design, more likely by misjudgement, midway through a second half that was better contested. "We didn't perform in the first half but we showed in the second we have bit of spirit," said Sinclair, a judgement generously acknowledged by their opponents.

"Great Britain were a decent and honourable opponent," said Anatolii Shevchyk, who scored twice in a minute to add to his four against the US. "In the first few minutes we were nervous, but after that we stopped noticing the fans and concentrated on the game. It was a pleasure to see so many came to cheer the teams on, even if they were mostly cheering for our opponent."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker