Ukraine put nine past San Marino as they prepare for England
Ukraine sent a stark warning to England as they took San Marino apart on Friday night.
Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:11pm
While beating San Marino is the minimum expectation whenever a side plays the minnows, Ukraine were ruthless in their work and could have done little else to prove they are ready for the arrival of Roy Hodgson's men.
Ukraine, England, Montenegro and Poland are locked in a tight four-way battle for the top spot in Group H and next week's clash is destined to be pivotal.
Mykhaylo Fomenko's men certainly look sharp and their goals were well spread around in this clash, with Marko Devic, Yevhen Seleznyov, Edmar, Yevhen Khacheridi (two), Yevgen Konoplianka, Roman Bezus, Artem Fedetskiy and Yaroslav Rakitskiy all on target.
Despite San Marino's low standing some sides have found them initially hard to break down, but Ukraine had no such problems.
Eleven minutes were on the clock when Artem Fedetskiy played in Marko Devic for the opener, while Yevgen Konoplianka maintained the pressure with a shot which went close.
Fedetskiy then drew a save from Federico Valentini and it was no surprise when Seleznyov slotted in a 26th-minute second.
Andriy Yarmolenko cracked a drive against the post in the pursuit of more goals and a third arrived when Edmar tucked in (33).
It was as seamless as Ukraine could have hoped for and as half-time arrived, Konoplianka's corner was perfect for Khacheridi who headed in.
Konoplianka made sure no momentum was lost after the half-time break as he made it five with a low finish (51), before Khacheridi added a sixth with a tap-in.
Bezus slotted in a seventh from the edge of the area and Fedetskiy took in Oleg Gusev's pass before making it eight with 15 minutes left.
There was still time for more, too, with Rakitskiy curling in a brilliant injury-time free-kick.