Sweden does not boast a very impressive record against Ukraine. Apart from the international friendly played in 2011, Sweden have not been able to beat them. The last time they met in Euros was way back in 2012 at Kyiv, where Andriy Shevchenko led Ukraine to a great victory. This time around, Sheva is the coach of this team and again, he would lead his boys to register a thrilling win.

Sweden made just one change to their starting line-up from the side that beat Poland 3-2 in the final group game, with Quaison missing out and he has been replaced in attack by Dejan Kulusevski.

Meanwhile, Andriy Shevchenko made two changes to his Ukraine side that were beaten 1-0 by Austria last time out. Kryvtsov and Taras Stepanenko come into the team and they have replaced Mykolenko and Malinovskiy.

Ukraine’s campaign had been undermined by the injury to the left-winger Oleksandr Zubkov in the defeat against the Netherlands. He had finished the season strongly with Ferencvaros and was the man of the match in the friendly win against Northern Ireland last month.

Marlos came on for him in that game but was so off the pace he was withdrawn before full-time.

Ruslan Malinovskyi was shifted from midfield on to that flank for the other two group games but he was relegated to the bench here as Shevchenko returned to the 3-5-2 with which he had experimented before the finals tournament and that meant, Stepanenko alongside Serhiy Sydorchuk at the back of the midfield.

This move by Sheva additional injected solidity at the back, essentially forcing Sweden to go wide and look to get crosses into the box, just as they had brought in Kulusevski.

The change in the formation brought the best out of Ukraine – they looked sharper than ever.

Mykola Shaparenko, relishing his deeper role, began the move with a sweeping ball out to the right wing‑back Oleksandr Karavayev. He turned it infield to Yarmolenko who paused, jinked past his man and then played a delightful pass with the outside of his right foot to the left wing‑back who lashed it through Olsen’s dive.

Even though the Swedish unit showed an early promise, they went a bit flat later on.

Just when the game seemed to be drifting towards half‑time, Emil Forsberg found space outside Ukraine’s midfield shield. Illya Zabarnyi moved to close him down but too late, and Forsberg’s shot deflected off him, over Heorhiy Bushchan and into the roof of the net.

Ten minutes after the break, Karavaev and Yarmolenko combined to create a chance that Sydorchuk crashed against the outside of the post.

Two minutes later, a delicate Forsberg curler plinked against the base of the post at the other end. A few minutes after that Forsberg hit the bar.

The game went to extra-time and in the crucial juncture of play Danielson dived into a challenge with Besedin and got the ball, but it was a really high challenge and he caught Besedin really high on the leg with his studs up. The referee initially showed a yellow card, but VAR was taking a look and the referee changed the decision – a straight red card for Danielsson.

Ukraine had the numerical advantage, but neither of the teams were pushing hard because of the fatigue and with one man down, Sweden sat deep.

In the stoppage time, a superb cross into the box from the left-wing was delivered by Zinchenko and Dovbyk got ahead of his marker and powered a header into the back of the net.


Ukraine would face England at Rome.

Facebook Comments