Rukavytsya wants breakthrough goal

Qantas Socceroo striker Nikita Rukavytsya hasn’t yet scored his breakthrough strike in green and gold, but would love the chance to do so against the Korea Republic.

Qantas Socceroo striker Nikita Rukavytsya hasn-t yet scored his breakthrough strike in green and gold, but would love the chance to do so against the Korea Republic on Wednesday.

With two appearances at a FIFA World Cup to his name, Rukavytsya is one of the more experienced squad members in camp and is expected to lead Australia-s attacking charge at Hwaseong Stadium.

“Obviously it would be great to score a goal, but most importantly, if the team wins that-s most important for me,” said Rukavytsya.

“I can-t really concentrate about scoring goals; I have to concentrate on playing my game and I-m sure the goals will come.

“It-s not easy, we-re here only for a few days before the game, so you need to adjust pretty quickly, but, that-s part of being a football player, you need to do it as part of your job.”

Though eager to post his first international goal, the Ukraine-born attacker has added to his game since he first led the line for the Perth Glory in 2007.

At that time, Rukavytsya terrorised Hyundai A-League defences when deployed as an out and out striker - netting 16 goals from 42 appearances over three seasons.

Since leaving Perth, Rukavytsya has been utilised primarily as a wide player in recent campaigns at FC Twente (Netherlands), Roeselare (Belgium) and Hertha Berlin (Germany) and, also presently at Bundesliga outfit Mainz.

Rukavytsya started on the left wing for Mainz-s 2-1 league triumph over Nurnberg at the weekend, in what was his fourth start of the new season.

The 25-year-old has been making a positive impression at the Bundesliga upstarts, whose impressive start to the campaign sees them occupy sixth place after eleven rounds.

“Since I came to Germany, I-ve improved a lot,” Rukavytsya said.

“I-ve been playing as a striker my whole life and when I came to Berlin, I had to adjust playing on the wing.

“It-s part of a football player, it-s still attacking so it-s sort of similar to the striker position, I moved to Mainz and I-ve been playing a few games as a striker as well.

“It-s nice, now I have a bit of variety in my game.”

The Qantas Socceroos will meet the challenge of fellow Asian heavyweights the Korea Republic at the Hwaseong Stadium on Wednesday, 14 November. Kick off is at 7pm local time (Kick off 9pm AEDT).

The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.

Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.