The Ukraine national football team made their first (and only to this date) appearance at the World Cup Finals in 2006 in Germany, where they reached the quarter finals. Prior to that, Ukraine had taken part in two previous preliminary competitions, losing only in the play-offs. Also, before 1996, some players from Ukraine represented the Soviet Union national football team
In 1997 the Ukrainian national team were beaten by Croatia 2-0 and 1-1. Four years later they lost the crucial decider 4-1 to the eventual 2002 runners-up Germany. They had finished the group phase in second place behind Poland and were unlucky to draw with Germany, undoubtedly the strongest team in the play-offs.
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