A 120th-minute Artem Dovbyk goal gave Ukraine a dramatic extra time win over Sweden on Tuesday night, sending them through to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals to play England in Rome.
Ukraine started the better and more composed of the two sides and managed find the breakthrough just before the half hour mark. Andriy Yarmolenko’s curing cross was met sweetly by Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose smooth half volley rocketed through Robin Olsen and into the back of the net.
Sweden, however, pulled level with three minutes of the first half remaining when Emil Forsberg collected Alexander Isak’s pass and unleashed a fierce strike from range that, via a deflection off Illya Zabarnyi, found the top corner.
Andriy Shevchenko’s men were close to pulling ahead ten minutes into the second half when Serhiy Sydorchuk connected with Yarmolenko’s cut-back brilliantly and thrashed the ball against Olsen’s post. Just a minute later Forsberg hit the foot of the post at the other end, before later jinking his way infield and curling a stunning effort flush onto the bar.
Neither team managed to actually find a second goal, however, sending the tie into extra time.
Sweden’s job was made more difficult nine minutes into extra time when VAR told the referee to go back and check Marcus Danielson’s tackle on Artem Besyedin. On further inspection the centre back’s challenge was shown to be rash and ridiculously high, resulting in a straight red card.
A second wind amongst the Ukraine players helped them find the winner right at the death. Zinchenko’s inch-perfect cross was met clinically by substitute Dovbyk, whose header sailed past Olsen in the 120th minute to send Shevchenko’s side through to a quarter-final tie with England.
Now, let’s see how the players rated.
Robin Olsen (GK) – 5/10 – Made a couple of good saves but maybe should have kept out Zinchenko’s strike as it seemed to squirm through him. Had no chance with the winner.
Mikael Lustig (RB) – 5/10 – Didn’t add that much going forward and too often left the left hand side of the his box open for Ukraine – notably for the opener.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 7/10 – Distributed the ball out from the back nicely and was a commanding presence at the heart of the defence, winning four aerials.
Marcus Danielson (CB) – 4/10 – A no-nonsense display, going in firmly and fairly to make six interventions, until an accidental but horrific challenge on Besyedin got him sent off.
Ludwig Augustinsson (LB) – 6/10 – Got up the left flank very regularly and enthusiastically as Forsberg drifted infield and, while it left spaces behind, he did deliver some decent crosses into the area.
Seb Larsson (RM) – 5/10 – Never got into the game. Showed his quality from set pieces but was stifled brilliantly by Zinchenko and Matviyenko in open play.
Kristoffer Olsson (CM) – 7/10 – Spread the ball around very well, helping the side tick with a pass accuracy of 91%, although he sometimes left gaps between defence and midfield for Ukraine’s creators to occupy.
Albin Ekdal (CM) – 6/10 – Looked to drive upfield with the ball and make things happen, but was just too passive in crucial moments.
Emil Forsberg (LM) – 8/10 – Floated around to great effect, finding pockets of space to really worry the opposition and influence most good things his side did. Registered two key passes and finished excellently to equalise in the first half – unlucky not to have made it a brace as he hit the post and emphatically struck the bar in the second half.
Dejan Kulusevski (ST) – 7/10 – Showed brilliant movement around the box, drifting into channels to stretch the opposition back three and deliver some quality to teammates – managing two key passes. A threat on goal too, although found no way past Buschan.
Alexander Isak (ST) – 7/10 – Also drifted around nicely, showing his range of skills. Scared his opponents when driving at them with the ball and linked up fantastically with colleagues – notably grabbing the assist for his side’s first.
Pierre Bengtsson (LB) – 6/10 – Not as impactful in attack as Augustinsson, but defended well.
Emil Krafth (RB) – 6/10
Robin Quaison (ST) – 5/10
Marcus Berg (ST) – 5/10
Viktor Claesson (RM) – 6/10
Filip Helander (CB) – 5/10
George Buschan (GK) – 7/10 – Looked commanding with everything that came into the area. Couldn’t do anything about Forsberg’s strike.
Illya Zabarnyi (CB) – 7/10 – Very confident and composed for an 18-year old. Great on the ball and brilliant at reading the play, registering ten interventions and constantly stepping up cleverly to nick possession.
Sergey Krivtsov (CB) – 6/10 – A couple of dodgy moments on the ball but looked strong at the heart of his backline – especially aerially – making five clearances.
Mykola Matvienko (CB) – 7/10 – Not troubled too much, but that may be because he positioned himself so well throughout, making 11 interventions.
Alexander Karavaev (RWB) – 7/10 – Maintained a very high position and helped Yarmolenko create overloads on the right hand side when Ukraine attacked. Always looking to get the ball and impact proceedings, and was involved in the opener.
Taras Stepanenko (CM) – 6/10 – Was aware to most of what was going on around him, putting his body on the line to break up play. Screened his backline fairly well with four interventions and also managed one key pass.
Serhiy Sydorchuk (CM) – 6/10 – Neat and tidy with his passing, helping to keep his side ticking along with efficient recycling of the ball while also looking good driving upfield to relieve pressure. Desperately unlucky to thrash the ball against the post in the second half.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (LWB) – 9/10 – Disciplined in his defensive duties, rarely giving Sweden’s right flank a sniff of an opportunity and was brilliant offensively. Surged forward constantly, linking up with colleagues well, finishing brilliantly in the first half to grab a goal and putting in an incredible cross for the dramatic winner.
Andriy Yarmolenko (RW) – 8/10 – Such a danger. Always looking to get at his opposition with his directness and cause havoc in the final third. Got a beautiful assist for the opener with a stunning cross and continuously created for his side, managing three key passes.
Roman Yaremchuk (ST) – 6/10 – A real handful for the Swedish defence, holding the ball up well and linking with those around him. Forced a save from Olsen early on but wasn’t so much of a goal threat after that.
Mykola Shaparenko (LW) – 7/10 – Drifted around and found space effortlessly. Showed great vision and movement to peel off defenders and either run in behind or thread balls through to teammates. Made the opportunity for the first with a wonderful switch out to Karavaev in the build up. Bizarrely hooked on the hour.
Ruslan Malinovskyi (LW) – 5/10 – Brought on to inject a spark but, in the end, made more fouls than valuable attacking contributions.
Artem Besyedin (ST) – N/A – Forced off by Danielson’s challenge. Never nice to see.
Yevhen Makarenko (CM) – 6/10
Viktor Tsyhankov (RW) – 6/10
Artem Dovbyk (ST) – 8/10 – Was bright as soon as he came on and managed to stoop low to find the winner very, very late on.
Roman Bezus (CM) – N/A