Created on 15-11-2009 at 00:00 AM
Bayern midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk's dream of playing at the World Cup in South Africa next summer is alive and well this morning. In the first leg of the play-off between Tymoshchuk's Ukraine side and former continental champions Greece, the East Europeans battled their way to a goalless draw away from home and are now in a promising position ahead of Wednesday's return in Donezk.
The 40,000 crowd at the Olympic stadium in Athens saw a disappointingly unadventurous display from the home side, coached by German veteran Otto Rehhagel. Tymoshchuk and his team-mates denied the Greeks space to play and held back the tide with a rock-solid defensive performance. Ukraine have now gone five World Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal.
Demichelis downed in Spain
Tymoshchuk was the only Bayern player in competitive action on Saturday night. His injured club team-mate Franck Ribéry will nevertheless have been thrilled by France's 1-0 win over Ireland in Dublin. The 2006 World Cup runners-up will now be odds-on favourites to complete the job and book their place at next summer's finals after the second meeting in Paris on Wednesday.