Euro 2020. Eight steps of the national team to the final tournament: Ukraine defeated Lithuania in Vilnius

In the fifth match of the qualifying tournament for the 2020 European Championship, which has already been officially postponed to 2021, the national team of Ukraine in Vilnius confidently defeated the team of Lithuania.

In the starting lineup of the blue-yellows drew attention to several changes compared to previous matches. Andriy Yarmolenko, who did not play for the national team for almost a year due to injury, finally returned to the national team. From the first minutes, right-back Bolbat appeared, who has been looking good for Shakhtar lately. At the same time, Konoplyanka and Karavayev, who did not have enough playing practice, were in reserve.

Despite the unusual coverage, the Ukrainian team from the first minutes established control of the ball and imposed its game on the opponent. The Lithuanians themselves contributed to this to some extent, assuming considerable marriage during broadcasts in simple situations. The advantage of the guests was embodied in a quick goal. Marlos, who acted in an unusual position in the midfield with a shift closer to the left flank, made a split pass into the home team's penalty area on Zinchenko, and Alexander easily beat the goalkeeper. 

The scored ball almost did not affect the picture of the game. Ukrainians continued to keep the situation under control. Attempts by the Lithuanians to impose a power struggle and thus gain an advantage were in vain, the blue-yellows even at a slow pace created moments due to technical skill and team play. The second goal was the result of successfully applied pressure. The mistake of the hosts was used by Marlos, who scored his debut goal for the Ukrainian national team. 0: 2.

In the second half, the blue and yellows continued to dominate the field. And without turning on the maximum speed, they managed to hold the hosts close to their goal for a long time and play combinations even directly in the opponent's penalty area. One of the many moments was used by Malinowski, who struck a branded cannon shot in the bottom corner after Yaremchuk's throw.

Photo by Pavlo Kubanov

Lithuania - Ukraine - 0: 3 (0: 2)

Goals: Zinchenko (7), Marlos (27), Malinovskyi (62).

Lithuania: Zubas, Mikolunas, Girdweinis, Palionis, Vorobyovas, Shimkus, Verbitskas, Zulpa, Matulevicius (Kuklis, 63), Golubitskas (Slivka, 52), Chernih (k) (Lauksemis, 68). Substitutions: Chernyauskas, Shetkus, Klimavicius, Jankauskas, Kazlauskas, Vaitkunas, Andryushkjavicus, Petrovicius, Baravikas.

Ukraine: Pyatov (k), Mykolenko, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko, Bolbat, Stepanenko, Malinovskyi (Bezus, 80), Yarmolenko (Tsyhankov, 60), Zinchenko, Marlos, Yaremchuk (Moraes, 65). Substitutions: Pankiv, Sobol, Burda, Konoplyanka, Plastun, Buyalskyi, Kovalenko, Karavayev, Lunin.

Referee: Irfan Pelto (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Booked: Mykolenko (73).

September 7, 2019. Vilnius. LFF Stadium. 5 067 spectators.

Photo by Pavlo Kubanov

After the match

Andrii Shevchenko (head coach of the national team of Ukraine): "First of all, I want to thank the fans who came from Ukraine. A lot of fans came, for which they are very grateful. 

... In the second half, the opponents mobilized, retreated into a dead defense and tried to impose their pace on us. It was clear that they have a strategy for this match. But we played well in the first half, scored two goals. "

Andrii Pavelko (UAF president): "We are building a good team and a good game. You can't divide rivals into outsiders and leaders. Every opponent is important to us. To be stronger, you need to improve the game. In this aspect, the national team of Ukraine adds in every match and pleases the fans. Therefore, I want to thank the players and the coaching staff led by Andriy Shevchenko for the work done in this match. Each laid out one hundred percent. Despite the fact that there was another difficult nuance - an artificial field.

Separately, I want to thank our fans. We played like at home, and everyone felt it. We didn't feel like a guest team. "

Ruslan Malinovskyi (Ukraine midfielder): "In this match, before scoring, I had several attempts, but not quite successful. On the artificial turf it was necessary to disturb the opponent's goalkeeper from afar as often as possible. On such a cover it is more difficult for him to react to the rebounds of the ball. I will not hide, I am pleased that it was my goal that helped to achieve a major victory over the hosts, especially since we were pleased with the coordinated actions. "

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