A victory in a soccer game won’t stop the bombs from raining down on eastern Ukraine. A spot in the World Cup won’t end Vladimir Putin’s murderous ambitions to obliterate an independent Ukraine and erase its culture.

But any triumph by Ukraine’s men’s national team is a triumph for all of Ukraine, and that is reason enough to root for The Blue and Yellow. No matter what country you call home.

With war-weary fans watching from basements and bomb shelters, Ukraine moved within a game of its second-ever World Cup appearance Wednesday night. Despite not having played a competitive game since mid-November and its players scattered across Europe by the Russian invasion, Ukraine upset Scotland in a thoroughly convincing 3-1 win.  

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