11th of June 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
In their first ever Euro finals match Ukraine fought back from a goal down to take take first place in Group D. Ukraine made a perfect start to Euro 2012 as a quickfire double from their captain, veteran striker Andriy Shevchenko, earned an unforgettable comeback victory against Sweden.
The co-hosts had played a slightly better first half than Sweden but they fell behind after the break when Zlatan Ibrahimović bagged a close-range finish in the 52nd minute. The lead didn't last too long as Shevchenko scored Ukraine's first ever European Championship finals goal with a powerful header. Then he repeated the procedure in the 62nd minute and the crowd in Kyiv was roaring. Ukraine preserved the advantage with the help of their passionate supporters to mark their tournament debut with a victory.
Sweden were the first to threaten as goalie Andriy Pyatov punched away Ibrahimović's wicked left-wing cross. The first real chance for the home side came on a counter, Shevchenko had only goalkeeper Isaksson to beat but he fired disappointingly wide. Ibrahimovic then had the best opportunity of the first half when his header clipped the post before rolling behind for a goal kick.
Ibrahimovic struck after the break when he pushed the ball into the back of the net after Kallstrom had crossed it low into the penalty area. It took Ukraine only three minutes to pull back level, Yarmolenko crossed from the right flank and Shevchenko headed past the goalkeeper. Another seven minutes went by before Shevchenko headed home again, this time at the near post from Konoplyanka's corner kick cross.
Sweden tried hard to pull back level but Ibrahimovic, Elmander and Mellberg failed to find the back of the net from fairly good positions. Ukraine will meet France in Donetsk on Friday while Sweden will have to get a result against England if they want to reach the quarter finals.
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