Men's Team

Zinchenko helps Ukraine to first Euro 2020 win

Oleksandr Zinchenko played the full 90 minutes as Ukraine got themselves off the mark in Group C by edging out North Macedonia 2-1 in Bucharest.

The City man, operating in central midfield, showed off his typical blend of style and industry to help Ukraine grab all three points and avoid an unwanted record of seven successive Euro’s defeats in the process.

Things looked good for Andriy Shevchenko’s side when they raced into a two-goal lead before the break courtesy of quickfire goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk.


Yarmolenko deservedly broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when his run into the back-post from a corner went untracked, allowing the West Ham winger to tap home Vyacheslav Karavayev’s clever flick.

And inside five minutes of that opener, Zinchenko and co. threatened to run away with the game when Yaremchuk coolly slotted home a second after beating the offside flag.

Those efforts also saw the Ukrainian goalscorers become first duo to score in their opening two games in European Championship history after both had got on the scoresheet in their 3-2 Matchday One defeat to the Netherlands.

However, North Macedonia rallied after the break and were rewarded with a penalty inside ten minutes of the second half when Goran Pandev was bundled over by Karavayev.

Ezgjan Alioski’s initial spot kick was well saved by Heorhiy Bushchan, but the Leeds full-back made no mistake from the resultant rebound to have the deficit.

But the tournament debutants conceded a penalty of their own in the 83rd minute after a VAR review spotted a handball from a free-kick, but Stole Dimitrievski was on hand to deny Ruslan Malinovskyi from twelve yards.

Incredibly, it means that only one of five penalties awarded so far at Euro 2020 have found the back of the net.


Despite that setback, Ukraine weathered the North Macedonian storm to hold on and give themselves a strong chance of qualifying for the Last 16.

Their final group game sees them lock horns with Austria on Monday 21 June.

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