Sports Desk, Jun 1 (EFE).- An impressive Ukraine side defeated Scotland 3-1 Wednesday to advance to a playoff against Wales for the last remaining European berth at World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Cheered on by 3,500 supporters at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, the visitors dominated possession and outplayed the hosts in every aspect of the game except for around 20 minutes late in the second half.
In comments before a contest that was delayed for months due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, former Chelsea star and Ukrainian national team great Andriy Shevchenko described the significance of the match as “much more than football for us right now.”
“We need to play for the fans, for the whole of Ukraine, for those at home, for those defending the country and for those who left the country,” Shevchenko, who managed Ukraine in the Euro 2020 tournament, told BBC Sport.
Despite the passage of six months since their last match, the Ukrainians showed no signs of rust.
The men in yellow would have led 3-0 at the break if not for some heroics from Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who thwarted Viktor Tsygankov and Andriy Yarmolenko inside the first 20 minutes.
But Gordon could do nothing to stop Yarmolenko from putting Ukraine up 1-0 in the 33rd minute.
Roman Yaremchuk doubled the advantage just four minutes into the second half, casting a pall over Scotland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1998.
The Scots improved as the second half wore on, though Callum McGregor’s goal in the 79th minute owed more to the failings of Ukraine keeper Heorhiy Bushchan than to the quality of the attackers.
The hosts pressed hard for an equalizer, but it was Artem Dovbyk who scored in the dying seconds of stoppage time to seal the win for Ukraine. EFE