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Ukraine Defeats US Soccer Team in Cyprus

  • VOA News

Players of the U.S. (in white) and of Ukraine (in blue) observe a minute of silence as a tribute to those who lost their lives in Kyiv during recent protests, before their international friendly soccer match in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 5, 2014.

Players of the U.S. (in white) and of Ukraine (in blue) observe a minute of silence as a tribute to those who lost their lives in Kyiv during recent protests, before their international friendly soccer match in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 5, 2014.

In a friendly international match, Ukraine has defeated the U.S. Soccer team, 2-0.

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, almost 500 kilometers east of Kyiv, but was moved to Cyprus last week because of concerns about security.

A moment of silence was observed before the match to honor those who lost their lives in Kyiv during the recent protests.

Also during their pre-game national anthem, Ukraine's players linked arms on their shoulders. The crowd was so small at the 10,000-seat stadium in Larnaca that players could be heard talking to one another during the match.

For the U.S. Soccer team, this was a warm-up for the World Cup, 99 days from the kick-off for the first game in Brazil. Ukraine is the highest ranked team in the world, at number 18, that did not qualify for the World Cup.

The Americans changed all 11 starters from their 2-0 win over South Korea on Feb. 1, played outside Los Angeles. That match featured mostly U.S.-based players, while this one featured European-based players.

On Thursday, the U.S. Soccer Federation plans to announce details of its final home exhibitions before the World Cup. The Americans likely will play May 27 on the West Coast, then at Harrison, New Jersey, on June 1, and at Jacksonville, Florida, on June 7. Their next match is a friendly on April 2 against rival Mexico in Glendale, Arizona, outside Phoenix.
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