Ukraine beats Sweden in Euro 2020 soccer championship, scores last record-breaking goal of victory

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SOUTH WINDSOR, Connecticut – Andriy Shevchenko’s playing experience was a big bonus as Ukraine’s top scorer (48 goals) led the national soccer team to a final tournament for the first time as a that coach. The 44-year-old captained Ukraine at the 2016 FIFA World Cup, led the line at UEFA Euro 2012 and was a Champions League-winning striker with AC Milan . Coach of Ukraine since 2016, he shared his footballing wisdom with his players during the UEFA Euro 2020.

Shevchenko’s participation in major tournaments such as the European Championship and the World Cup has helped him educate and motivate his players. Just participating in the Euro tournament is a great experience. The atmosphere, team camaraderie and understanding the meaning of these important games are all part of the experience. Small details play a big role in big tournaments.

Ahead of Euro 2020 under Shevchenko, Ukraine struck a balance between defensive solidarity and offensive creativity with Andriy Yarmolenko playing the role of senior striker, while talents like Ruslan Malinovskyi, Roman Yaremchuk and Oleksandr Zinchenko became performers. key and relevant in the field. Shevchenko received credit for instilling a winning mentality in his players.

At Euro 2020, Shevchenko’s team was more a work in progress than a finished product. His team came in force late in the game against the favored Netherlands (3-2 loss), which seriously frightened what experts considered a European power. They dominated North Macedonia (2-1 win) early in their second game and appeared to be more cautious against a strong Austrian side (1-0 loss), appearing to play for a draw in hopes of qualifying for the round of 16. step. Somehow, due to the bad luck of others, Ukraine qualified for the next 16, paired against Sweden, a clash of two clubs outfitted with blue and gold.

Sweden and Ukraine met for the first time since 2012 in the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 in Glasgow, Scotland on June 29, their last game with fond memories for current coach Shevchenko. It was Shevchenko who scored the two goals to mark his team’s first victory in a Euro tournament against the Swedes nine years earlier.

Yes, Ukraine reached the round of 16 with two losses and the worst record of any advancing team. But they still reached the quarter-finals. Ukraine eliminated unbeaten Sweden 2-1 thanks to a late stoppage goal at the end of extra time by a player who had not played during the entire group stage. Substitute Artem Dovbyk leaned over to guide a header from Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross past Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen. It was the 24-year-old’s first goal for the national team.

Coach Shevchenko was seen running on the sidelines, celebrating with his players, who then flew to Rome where they faced England in the quarter-finals on July 3 (see article on page 14 for more coverage of this match).

Zinchenko scored Ukraine’s first goal, giving his side the lead in the 27th minute when he fired a low shot thanks to an easy pass from captain Yarmolenko. Emil Forsberg’s deflected shot from outside the box in the 43rd minute equalized for Sweden. It was Forsberg’s fourth goal at Euro 2020, but a fifth goal eluded him in the second half despite curling shots on the post and crossbar. Sweden had four great scoring chances in the second half, but couldn’t score a second.

The momentum in the game changed dramatically in overtime when Sweden defender Marcus Danielson was sent off in the 98th minute with a red card for pursuing a challenge with a boot thrown over Ukrainian Artem Besedin. The game lost much of its pace and pace during rambling extra time littered with fouls, injuries, exhausted players and an argument between the two coaches.

Artem Dovbyk celebrates the game-winning goal against Sweden in Glasgow on June 29 in the round of 16.

“It was a really tough game,” Shevchenko said in a post-match media session. “Everyone understood that the price at the end was great. We had to be strong and the players showed it today.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson said he faced his counterpart Shevchenko because he felt the Ukrainians were diving a bit towards the end.

To get to Glasgow, Ukraine needed a favor from Sweden to move forward. Ukraine would have been eliminated if Poland had beaten Sweden in their last group game. Sweden won this game 3-2 with Forsberg scoring twice.

Neither team had ever won a knockout match in a European Championship in the previous eight tournaments combined. The two often-cautious teams played more freely for 90 minutes, trying to grab a chance for a deep run in arguably the weakest half of the draw.

Ukraine’s main creator was Yarmolenko, who plays in England for West Ham. Preparing for Zinchenko’s goal, Yarmolenko used the outside of his favorite left foot to drift a curling pass through seven defenders to their blind side in the box. After scoring with a first shot, Zinchenko fled with a finger to his lips in a move he said was to calm critics.

“In the first three games we received a lot of criticism, which I think we deserved.” He told the media via a translator. “I showed that they had to support us.

An exhausted Yarmolenko was taken out of the field for the final overtime, leaving room for Artem Dovbyk to come in and score the game-winning goal. Dovbyk’s game-winning goal made history as the last game-winning game in European Championship history, at 120:37.


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