Men's Team

Zinchenko stars as Ukraine move step closer to World Cup

Zinchenko stars as Ukraine move step closer to World Cup
Oleksandr Zinchenko helped Ukraine book passage to a World Cup play-off by courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk were enough to book at date with Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium, with the victors sealing passage to Qatar later this year.

Zinchenko had promised to provide Ukrainian people with ‘incredible emotions’ at an emotional press conference ahead of the match, and a commanding display from the 25-year-old helped him deliver on that promise.

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Starting in midfield at Hampden Park, our number 11 provided a typical blend of style and industry over the 90 minutes - claiming an assist for Dovbyk's deciding strike - to see his nation move a step closer to what would be only their second finals appearance.

Former West Ham forward Yarmolenko gave Andriy Shevchenko’s side the lead in Glasgow after controlling Ruslan Malinovskyi’s pass over the Scotland defence and lofting the ball over the onrushing Allan McGregor.

The advantage was doubled soon after the restart when Yaremchuk powered home a header at the back post to put the Ukrainians in the driver’s seat.

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn missed a gilt-edged chance to halve the deficit from close-range before the hour, but the hosts got themselves on the scoresheet through Callum McGregor with ten to play.

But with Scotland continuing to pile on the pressure in pursuit of an equaliser which would have forced extra time, Zinchenko stole possession on the edge of the Ukraine box before releasing Dovbyk.

The forward provided the sucker punch with a clinical finish deep into stoppage time to move Ukraine within one match of World Cup qualification.

Andriy Shevchenko's side will now face Wales for a spot in Qatar on Sunday 5 June, with kick-off scheduled for 17:00 (UK).

You can find out how Zinchenko gets on as part of our international roundup on mancity.com and the official Man City app.

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