Euro 2020: Ukraine pip Sweden in extra-time to book quarterfinals spot

Emil Forsberg canceled out Oleksandr Zinchenko's opener in the first half before Artem Dovbyk scored the winner for Ukraine in the dying minutes of extra time.

A shirtless Artem Dovbyk celebrates after scoring the winner in the 2-1 win against Sweden in the round of 16 fixture; Credit: Twitter/@EURO2020

Ukraine, who had sneaked through to the knockout stage as one of the best four third placed teams, beat Group E winners Sweden 2-1 to go through to the quarter-final of Euro 2020. Substitute Artem Dovbyk scored the winner in the dying minutes of extra time to book a last-8 match against England at Rome on July 4. Oleksandr Zinchenko gave Ukraine the lead with a thumping volley before Emil Forsberg leveled the score with the help of a  deflected shot in the first half. Meanwhile Marcus Danielson was given a red card in the extra time for a high challenge on Artem Besyedin. (Fixtures and results)

Andriy Yarmolenko teed up Roman Yaremchuk to force the first save of the match from Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen. Yarmolenko had an impressive night and he set up Zinchenko for the opening goal in the 27th minute. The West Ham player delivered a beautiful out-swinging ball with the outside of his left foot  from the right side of the penalty area to Zinchenko at the back post. The Manchester City man smashed the ball past Swedish keeper. Although Olsen got his finger tip to it, the shot had enough power to beat him.

It was the first time Jane Andersson’s side had gone behind in the competition. Although Sweden’s game was built upon a strong defence they responded well and had enough firepower up front. Just before the half-hour mark Sebastian Larsson almost caught Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan out of position from a free-kick.

Forsberg’s equalizer and woodwork came to the rescue of both teams

Sweden leveled the score through Forsberg in the 43rd minute. The RB Leipzig midfielder’s shot from 20-yards out deflected off 18-year-old defender Illya Zabarnyi. Thus, it flew past the goalkeeper into the back of the net. It was the 29-year-old’s fourth goal in the tournament. 

After the break, it was an end to end action and the post was rattled three times. Yarmolenko set up Serhiy Sydorchuk with a nice pull back from the right side of the penalty area. But the Dynamo Kyiv midfielders shot hit the post. Two minutes later at the other end, Alexander Isak’s through ball found Forsberg’s run to the penalty area. Forberg’s beautiful low curling, dipping effort hit the bottom of the post. Forsbeg was again denied by the woodwork. This time the number 10  cut inside from the left flank and skipped past two defenders before unleashing a curler, only to hit the crossbar.

Dovbyk winner sees Ukraine progress in Euro 2020

As both sides couldn’t be separated in the regular time the match went to extra time. In the 99th minute, the turning point of the match took place. Defender Danielsson was shown a red card for his follow through challenge on Besyedin after a VAR intervention. Initially the referee showed a yellow card to the 32-year-old footballer, but after a recheck on the pitch side monitor he was given his marching orders. Replays suggested that the challenge was a leg breaker. Although it was an unfortunate incident as Danielson couldn’t have done much to prevent the injury to Besyedin, who had to be substituted following the tackle.

After playing the remaining eleven minutes with 10-man, it seemed fans were going to be treated to another Euro 2020 penalty shootout. Dovbyk, who came in for Yarmolenko scored the winning goal in the 121st minute. Zinchenko delivered a superb cross from the left flank and the 24-year-old forward got between the Swedish defenders Victor Lindelof and Yevhenii Makarenko to head the ball in. It was the striker’s first goal for Ukraine. 

Sportslumo Desk

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