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Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine: Blue and Yellow ignite Euro 2024 campaign with comeback win

Ukraine's hopes of reaching the last 16 of Euro 2024 were handed a huge boost.

Ukraine

Ukraine ignited their Euro 2024 campaign with a 2-1 comeback win over Slovakia in Dusseldorf.

Ivan Schranz’s opener put Slovakia ahead at half-time before Mykola Shaparenko cancelled out the lead early in the second half.

Roman Yaremchuk completed the turnaround 10 minutes from time to secure a huge boost to their prospects of reaching the last 16.

As it happened

Slovakia came into this game on the back of an unlikely win over Belgium and the first two chances of the game fell their way, forcing two strong saves from Anatoliy Trubin, immediately justifying his selection after coming in for the dropped Andriy Lunin.

Haraslin’s first was saved at point-blank range before Schranz’s effort was also brilliantly kept out following a deflection off a defender.

The Benfica stoppper had to punch another clear from a free-kick before he was finally beaten by Schranz, who was left unmarked at the back post before heading the ball back across goal and into the net for his second goal in as many games.

Just as they did in the 3-0 defeat to Romania last time out, Ukraine looked out of sorts at the back and going forward early on, with a blazed over Mykhailo Mudryk shot one of few openings of note in the first 25 minutes.

Some committed Peter Pekarik defending was required to block Artem Dovbyk’s finish after some lovely footwork from the Girona hotshot.

That chance seemed to spark Ukraine into life after a smart one-two involving Andriy Yarmolenko had to be cleared away at the final moment before Oleksandr Tymchyk struck the post with a left-footed low drive.

As the half drew to a close, Oleksandr Zinchenko almost sneaked one in at the near post with a free-kick but Martin Dubravka parried it away, before the opposing stopper was once again required to keep out a deflected Haraslin shot.

Ukraine finally got the goal they craved nine minutes into the second half as Shaparenko coolly slotted it past Dubravka after Zinchenko’s square ball across the box.

The Blue and Yellow continued to dominate the ball in the second half but some typically disciplined defending from Slovakia restricted clear-cut chances as a tense final 20 minutes approached.

It was Mudryk’s turn to strike the post on 75 minutes after his relatively tame effort was bizarelly left by Dubravka before hitting the upright and bouncing behind.

But soon the nerves of Ukraine fans turned to jubilation as substitute Yaremchuk completed the turnaround by brilliantly controlling Shaparenko’s pass before poking a delicate finish past the goalkeeper.

Slovakia could so easily have scored in stoppage time as a corner fell to Denis Vavro in the box but the defender got his shot all wrong.

What next for Slovakia and Ukraine at Euro 2024?

Group E is now wide open with Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania all on three points with group favourites Belgium hoping to get their first points when they face the Romanians on Saturday.

A thrilling finale is set to unfold on Wednesday as Slovakia take on Romania at the same time as Ukraine face Belgium.

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with experience writing for national title, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.

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