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BBC Sport's Ron Jones
"Mark Hughes was delighted with the way his below strength team performed"
 real 14k

Wales striker John Hartson
"It's a shame how we've struggled to hold onto a lead"
 real 14k

Audio
"It's now going to be very difficult for Wales to qualify"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK
Hartson heroics not enough
John Hartson
John Hartson celebrates putting Wales into the lead
Wales 1-1 Ukraine

Wales' World Cup dreams were virtually extinguished despite another brave, heartbreaking display in Cardiff.

John Hartson had given Wales hope in the first half with his third goal in two internationals, but in the end the hosts did well to hold on for a point.

Wales played way above themselves and gave every last drop of sweat but could not secure the win they needed.

Andrei Shevchenko scored the equaliser and turned in a display of glittering ability, even if he did squander a hatful of chances.

But the AC Milan superstar, top scorer in Serie A this season, was a class apart and it took all Wales' battling and defending to keep and his colleagues out.

In the final minutes Wales did create more chances, Craig Bellamy could have scored twice as Ryan Giggs started to find his touch and form after five weeks out injured.

Nerves

But even with Giggs, admittedly only occasionally showing the wonderful pace and skills in his armoury, Wales could not force the win they desperately needed.

Mark Hughes men have now drawn four times in this group, all against sides way above them in the FIFA rankings, but have just not been able to find the wins that they know they need.

Hughes made four changes from the side that drew 2-2 in Armenia on Saturday, Cardiff's Andy Legg and Bradford's Dean Saunders reverting to the bench, with Mark Pembridge injured and John Robinson banned.

Andrei Shevchenko
Shevchenko: Constant threat
Wales got a wonderful start on 12 minutes when Barnard's header back into the box was flicked on by Gary Speed for Hartson to power into the roof of the net.

Giggs was more than willing to take on Arsenal's Oleg Luzhny down the left, but Ukraine had so much possession, their midfield being so mobile and little Artem Yashkin was pulling all the strings.

Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov both had Wales nerves jangling, and they must have been relieved that the Spurs striker did not emerge for the second half, to be replaced by Vasyl Kardash.

Torment

The visitors deservedly levelled seven minutes after the restart when the unmarked Shevchenko converted Nesmachnyi's cross at the far post.

Paul Jones saved superbly again from Shevchenko, before Matthew Jones made way for Tottenham youngster Simon Davies to make his international debut.

Shevchenko continued his one man torment and had another chance, a six-yard header from a left-wing corner, that he somehow managed to put over the bar.

Hartson had a couple of half chances but he was replaced with 20 minutes to go by Saunders.

Two minutes later Bellamy had a glorious chance to put Wales ahead again after a Giggs run created panic, but his 12-yard angled effort flew over the bar.

Bellamy had a chance to win the match in injury time, cutting inside his marker into the penalty area, but his shot lacked conviction and was easily saved.


Teams-

Wales: Wales: 1-Paul Jones; 2-Mark Delaney, 3-Darren Barnard, 4-Andy Melville, 5-Robert Page, 6-Carl Robinson, 7-Matthew Jones (16-Simon Davies 55), 8-Craig Bellamy, 9-John Hartson (14-Dean Saunders 70), 10-Gary Speed (capt), 11-Ryan Giggs.

Ukraine: 1-Olexander Shovkovsky; 2-Oleh Luzhny (capt), 3-Andriy Nesmachny, 4-Olexander Holovko, 5-Vladislav Vashchyuk, 6-Anatoly Tymoshchyuk; 7-Andriy Shevchenko, 8-Serhiy Popov (18-Olexander Melashchenko 70), 9-Artyom Yashkin, 10-Andriy Vorobei, 11-Serhiy Rebrov (17-Vasil Kardash 45).

Referee: Eric Romain (Belgium)

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See also:

28 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Clockwatch: Wales 1-1 Ukraine
28 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Wales prepare for Ukraine onslaught
28 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Tight defence the key
27 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Giggs key to Welsh glory
27 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Speed chasing victory
26 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Double blow for Wales
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