Euro 2020. Eight steps of Ukraine to the final tournament: victory over the continental champions and a ticket to the final stage!
In the seventh match of the qualifying tournament for the 2020 European Championship, which was officially postponed to 2021, the national team of Ukraine got one of the most resounding victories in its history.
In Kyiv, at the crowded NSC "Olympic", our guys defeated the current champion of the continent, the winner of the League of Nations 2018/2019 - the team of Portugal.
Compared to the previous match, against Lithuania in Kharkiv three days earlier, there were three changes in the starting lineup of the blue-yellows. As Andrii Shevchenko promised on pre-match press conference Andriy Shevchenko, fresh players have appeared - those who did not even replace Metalist on Friday. The permutations concerned the flanks of the defense, where Karavaev and Mykolenko replaced Bolbat and Sobol, as well as the lines of attack, where Moraes was replaced by Yaremchuk.
The first shot on goal took place in the 2nd minute. Yaremchuk, assisted by Malinowski, managed to break through in the fight against the defenders, but Rui Patriciou was on the spot. However, the account was opened in four minutes. After a corner kick by Marlos, Kryvtsov threatened the goal, the Portuguese goalkeeper withdrew the threat, but Yaremchuk was the first to finish. 1: 0.
Photo by Pavlo Kubanov
Andrii Shevchenko's wards defended well, not leaving their opponents free zones. When the blue-yellows had a chance to counterattack, they took advantage of it one hundred percent. Yarmolenko responded to Mykolenko's wing pass, jumping out from behind the defenders. 2: 0.
Photo by Pavlo Kubanov
The siege of the Ukrainian goal continued and eventually led to a blow by Bruma, after which the ball hit Stepanenko's hand. The referee appointed an 11-meter and showed Taras a yellow card, which became his second. The penalty was converted by Cristiano Ronaldo. The end of the match for the national team of Ukraine, which had to face one of the best teams in the world in the minority, was a difficult test that the blue and yellows withstood. The winning score guaranteed them the final first place in Group B and a ticket to Euro 2020!
Ukraine - Portugal - 2: 1
Goals: Yaremchuk (6), Yarmolenko (27) - Cristiano Ronaldo (72, from the penalty spot).
Ukraine: Pyatov (k), Mykolenko (Plastun, 90 + 4), Kryvtsov, Matvienko, Karavayev, Stepanenko, Malinovsky, Zinchenko, Yarmolenko, Marlos (Konoplyanka, 63), Yaremchuk (Kovalenko, 73). Substitutions: Pankiv, Sobol, Sydorchuk, Shakhov, Buyalskyi, Tsyhankov, Moraes, Bolbat, Lunin.
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Guerreiro, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Semedu, Danilo, João Mario (Bruma, 68), João Moutinho (Bruno Fernandes, 56), Gedesh (João Felis, 46), Cristiano Ronaldo (k), Bernard Silva. Substitutions: Jose Sa, Beta, Fontaine, Andre Silva, Ricardo, Andre Gomes, Ruben Neves, Mario Rui, Pizzi.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England).
Booked: Stepanenko (25), Yarmolenko (47), Zinchenko (90 + 4), Kovalenko (90 + 5) - Pepe (26), Ruben Diash (64).
Sent off: Stepanenko (72).
October 14, 2019. Kiev. NSC "Olympic". 65 883 spectators.
After the match
Andrii Shevchenko (head coach of the national team of Ukraine): "I have a lot of emotions. Now I am very happy. I want to thank all of Ukraine and Kyiv for their support. The stadium gave the team a boost, especially when we were ten. I am proud of the players!
I also want to thank the Portuguese team for their high quality football. We were twice as pleased to get a ticket to play with such a rival.
And last but not least, I kept my promise made after the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, saying that fans can book tickets for the Euros. "
Oleksandr Zinchenko (midfielder of the national team of Ukraine): "Emotions are unsurpassed! We were so happy after the match in the locker room that my voice disappeared. We were all exhausted, gave the game all our strength. Congratulations to every fan of the national team of Ukraine, everyone who supported us. Thank you all, all a low bow! "
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