No more croaking as Ukraine hit four

OLEG BLOKHIN found the perfect remedy for his team’s poor performance against Spain in their World Cup opener, and it paid off handsomely as Ukraine comfortably defeated Saudi Arabia 4-0 to rekindle their hopes of a place in the second round.

The former Dynamo Kyiv star complained that the local wildlife near the team’s training camp had been disturbing his players in the aftermath of the 4-0 loss to the Spaniards, but there were no such problems as Andriy Shevchenko and company hammered a Saudi team that struggled in the Hamburg rain.

“We took the frogs away,” said Blokhin. “The frogs that were preventing us from sleeping before the last match.”

“We knew it was a decisive match for us,” said Blokhin. “We have turned things around and we won. The future is the same as it was before and now we have to win against Tunisia.

“I was accused of putting the wrong team on the pitch because we lost to Spain but today we won 4-0 so I guess it was the right team.

“Now we are going to look at the information we have on Tunisia before we decide who we are going to put on the field. It’s something that depends on how the team listens to the coach. Against Spain the team was not disciplined but now I’d like to congratulate the players for bouncing back.”

Saudi Arabia coach Marcos Paqueta was left to rue the way in which his team struggled in the wet conditions.

“We knew it was going to rain, or that there was a 50-50 chance it would rain,” said the Brazilian. “It was unfortunate.”

SAUDI ARABIA: Zaid, Dokhi (Khathran 55), Tukar, Al Montashari, Sulimani, Al Ghamdi, Ameen (Mouath 55), Noor (Al Jaber 77), Khariri, Aziz, Al Kahtani.

UKRAINE: Shovkovskiy, Nesmachniy, Rusol, Sviderskiy, Tymoschuk, Shelayev, Gusev, Rebrov (Rotan 71), Kalinichenko, Shevchenko (Milevskiy 85), Voronin (Gusin 79).

Referee: G Poll (England).

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