Ukraine failed to secure a 2010 World Cup spot after losing 1-0 at home to Greece in a second-leg play-off in Donetsk on Wednesday evening.

Saturday's first-leg finished 0-0, and Ukraine came out attacking from the whistle, creating a number of chances in the first-half. The best of these fell to former Chelsea player Andriy Shevchenko, who shot wide and high in the 7th minute after being put clear on goal.

The defensive-minded Greeks, European champions in 2004, caught out Ukraine with a swift counterattack in the 32nd minute, Dimitrios Salpingidis slotting home after being sent through by Giorgios Samaras.

With away goals counting as double in the event of a draw, the Greek opener meant that Ukraine had to score twice to go through.

The second-half saw Ukraine continue to press, but Greek goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas was equal to anything the hosts, watched by President Viktor Yushchenko, could throw at him.

Ukraine head coach Oleksiy Mykhailychenko said he is to blame for the team's failure. "All guys played as best as they could".It is my failure.

He has voiced readiness to work with the squad till the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship."My contract expires this month. If I am proposed to extend it, I will be ready to work. I am not going to give up. If it is to look at the whole qualification cycle, this was the first team we have yielded to after two legs.


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