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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 23, 2006

'We kept our belief,' says Ukraine's matchwinner

BERLIN, June 23 (Reuters) - Ukraine match-winner Andriy Shevchenko said his team mates had always kept their belief despite a disastrous start to their World Cup campaign to claim a second-round berth on Friday.

Their final Group H 1-0 victory over Tunisia squeezed Oleg Blokhin's team into the last 16 after recovering from an opening 4-0 battering by Spain. They had bounced back from that with a 4-0 victory of their own over Saudi Arabia on Monday.

'It's a hugely important achievement for Ukrainian football that we have got into the next round,' said Shevchenko, who clinched Friday's victory through a disputed 70th minute penalty after he tumbled in the Tunisia area.

'We always kept our belief despite the terrible defeat against Spain,' he told reporters.

'It doesn't matter who we play in the next round. All three teams - France, Switzerland and South Korea -- are strong teams.'

The Chelsea striker said he was well on the mend from a left knee injury which had sidelined him from the tail-end of the season.

'Personally, I'm feeling better,' he added.

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