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TravelGuides – Ukraine strike late in extra time against Sweden to set up England quarter-final | Euro 2020

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TravelGuides – Ukraine strike late in extra time against Sweden to set up England quarter-remaining | Euro 2020

The second of three minutes of added time on the finish of extra time. The rearguard that Sweden had mounted for the reason that dismissal of Marcus Danielsson after 100 minutes was practically over. Penalties appeared inside touching distance. Then Ukraine, but once more, labored the ball out to Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left. He crossed and the substitute Artem Dovbyk plunged ahead to head previous Robin Olsen. Blue shirts cavorted in delight. Yellow shirts folded. A really giant topless shaven‑headed man, moobs atremble, ran uncertainly on to the pitch and sank to his knees in ecstasy. And with {that a} gruelling final-16 tie got here to an finish. Ukraine will face England in the quarter-remaining in Rome on Saturday.

What had for 90 minutes been a crisp sport of no little high quality grew to become in extra-time a grim trudge. Danielsson’s crimson card modified the dynamic, however each side seemed exhausted and there have been numerous interruptions as gamers went down with harm. Ukraine, having barely light, got here once more with the extra man, however Sweden’s two banks of 4 appeared resolute as ever, at the very least till yet one more swap of play undid them.

Ukraine’s marketing campaign had been undermined by the harm to the left-winger Oleksandr Zubkov in the defeat against the Netherlands. He had completed the season strongly with Ferencvaros and was man of the match in the pleasant win against Northern Ireland final month. Marlos got here on for him in that sport however was so off the tempo he was withdrawn earlier than full-time. Ruslan Malinovskyi was shifted from midfield on to that flank for the opposite two group video games however he was relegated to the bench right here as Andriy Shevchenko returned to the three-5-2 with which he had experimented earlier than the finals match.

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That meant the return of the veteran Taras Stepanenko alongside Serhiy Sydorchuk in the back of the midfield, the primary time the pair had began collectively in this European Championship. They offered an extra display in entrance of the line of defense, basically forcing Sweden to go vast and look to get crosses into the field, simply as they’d introduced in Dejan Kulusevski. He had missed the beginning of the match after a constructive Covid take a look at however right here was alongside Alexander Isak, when Marcus Berg or Robin Quaison could have most popular that sort of service.

Shevchenko is an astute coach and has clearly improved Ukraine. This is a greater, extra proactive facet than the one which limped out of the final European Championship with out scoring a purpose. After all of the furore in regards to the shirt, with the map of Ukraine together with Russian-occupied Crimea in the jacquard, and the controversial slogans on the neck, the sense was that this was a crew with a trigger which made the limp efficiency against Austria so stunning.

Sweden’s Marcus Danielson leaves the pitch after he was proven the crimson card for his problem on Ukraine’s Artem Besyedin in extra time. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP

Perhaps the rhetoric at all times got here from exterior the squad, or maybe soccer video games, finally, are largely about soccer and Ukraine misplaced against Austria in the group stage not due to some patriotic failure however as a result of they might not deal with Austria’s physicality and organisation.

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Which, frankly, against Sweden didn’t bode properly, for no nationwide facet is so constantly and successfully bodily and properly organised as it’s – regardless of that curious 25-minute wobble against Poland.

In that sense the swap to 3-5-2 made sense: overman in the centre on the again and in midfield, and hope the wing-backs may deal with the vast midfielders with out being overmanned by overlaps from Sweden’s full-backs. It labored. “With this performance and commitment,” mentioned Shevchenko, “our team has deserved the love of the whole country. We knew how our team should play from the first minutes. We knew who could strengthen us [during the game]. The plan we had developed has worked well.”

As it turned out, the change of form had a far larger influence as Zinchenko, quiet till now, put Ukraine forward with a shocking purpose. Mykola Shaparenko, relishing his deeper function, started the transfer with a sweeping ball out to the fitting wing‑again Oleksandr Karavayev. He turned it infield to Yarmolenko who paused, jinked previous his man after which performed a pleasant move with the surface of his proper foot to the left wing‑again who lashed it by means of Olsen’s dive.

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Sweden, after early promise, had gone somewhat flat, and the sport appeared to be drifting in the direction of half‑time when Emil Forsberg discovered house exterior Ukraine’s midfield defend. Illya Zabarnyi moved to shut him down however too late, and Forsberg’s shot deflected off him, over Heorhiy Bushchan and into the roof of the online.

And that grew to become the sample of the sport: Ukraine’s wing-backs against Forsberg. Ten minutes after the break, Karavaev and Yarmolenko mixed to create an opportunity that Sydorchuk crashed against the surface of the put up.

Two minutes later, a fragile Forsberg roller plinked against the bottom of the put up on the different finish. A couple of minutes after that Forsberg hit the bar.

But the purpose wouldn’t come, not for Sweden after which, it appeared, not for Ukraine, till, on the final, it did. By then each side seemed exhausted however, as England discovered against Croatia in Russia, you may by no means belief an opponent to be drained once you want it.

TravelGuides – Ukraine strike late in extra time against Sweden to set up England quarter-remaining | Euro 2020

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