(QHA) - Ukraine must negotiate the playoffs next month after finishing second in Group H behind England despite an 8-0 rout of a San Marino side who finished with nine men in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, reports Reuters.
As reported, Ukraine will look to clinch a spot in the World Cup finals next summer when they take on San Marino, informs Latinos Post.
The Ukrainians sit just one point behind England for the top spot in the group. The winner of the group qualifies automatically for the tournament. The team could still manage the feat as it takes on San Marino in its final match; Ukraine previously destroyed San Marino 9-0 at home in last month's qualifiers. A Ukraine win coupled with an England draw or loss against Poland would give the Ukraine the top spot in the group.
Despite the possibility, the team's coaching staff seems to be preparing for the playoffs rather than an automatic berth. The runner-up gets a chance to compete in a playoff next month against another runner-up with the victor qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer.
"We are realists," said Ukraine Coach Mikhail Fomenko, according to Sky Sports. "It looks like we will have to play in the play-offs."
Fomenko even stated that his club was not in a position to beat England on its best day.
"I do not think we are stronger than England right now, so I have no regrets about the England game in September," he said. "I do not think they are a weaker rival. If I did, I would have regrets but that is not the case. If we were stronger, we would have won in London and Kyiv, but we didn't."