Ukraine made it to the Euro 2020 quarterfinals for a second time after overpowering 10-man Sweden 2-1, courtesy Artem Dovbyk’s last-gasp extra-time winner at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
The Ukrainians started cautiously on Tuesday and let Sweden pass the ball around. Despite dominating possession, Sweden didn’t pose a threat to Ukraine’s rock-solid defence with only Alexander Isak coming close to scoring with a long-range effort in the 20th minute, reports Xinhua.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side showed no mercy and clinically opened the scoring seven minutes later when Andrey Yarmolenko’s shot with the outside of the boot allowed Oleksandr Zinchenko to break the deadlock against the run of play.
The Swedes responded well with Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Bush can having to stretch to defuse Sabastian Larsson’s dangerous set-piece moments later.
Sweden continued to attack and was rewarded with the equaliser just before the break as Emil Forsberg got enough time and space to drill the ball from 23 metres past Bush can into the bottom right corner.
After the restart, both sides came out motivated and created several chances as Serhiy Sydorchuk and Forsberg rattled the right post in quick succession.
Ukraine focused on counterattacks while Sweden remained a constant menace with Forsberg hitting the crossbar from 16 metres in the 69th minute.
Sweden had a golden chance to seal the deal in regulation time but Dejan Kulusevski missed the target from inside the box with only Bush can to beat.
In extra time, Sweden suffered a huge setback when Marcus Danielson was sent off in the 99th minute.
Outnumbered, the Swedes defended well and hoped to take the match into a penalty shootout, but their resilience was broken in injury time as Zinchenko’s pinpoint cross into the box found Dovbyk, who nodded home the decider from close range.
“Both teams played very well. It was an interesting match. Neither side wanted to lose so we got this drama at the end. With this performance and commitment, our team has deserved the love of the whole country,” said Ukraine head coach Andriy Shevchenko.
Ukraine will clash with England in the quarterfinal at Rome on July 3.