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Slovakia vs Ukraine. European Championships Group E.

ESPRIT arenaAttendance43,910.

Slovakia 1

  • I Schranz (17th minute)

Ukraine 2

  • M Shaparenko (54th minute)
  • R Yaremchuk (80th minute)

Euro 2024 - Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine: Roman Yaremchuk scores late winner to complete comeback win

Report from Euro 2024 as Ukraine fight back to beat Slovakia in Group E; Mykola Shaparenko and Roman Yaremchuk scored second-half goals for Ukraine after Slovakia had taken an early lead through Ivan Schranz; Ukraine and Slovakia are both on three points after two games

Roman Yaremchuk is mobbed by his team-mates after giving Ukraine a late lead against Slovakia
Image: Roman Yaremchuk scored a late winner for Ukraine against Slovakia to get their Euro 2024 campaign up and running

Roman Yaremchuk scored a late winner as Ukraine kept their Euro 2024 campaign alive by bravely fighting back to beat Slovakia 2-1.

After losing to Romania in their Group E opener, Ukraine knew they needed at least one point from their second game to have a realistic chance of reaching the knockout stage - but they got off to the worst possible start in Dusseldorf.

Slovakia, who stunned Belgium in their first match, would have qualified for the last 16 with another victory and looked on course to do just that when Ivan Schranz's header - his second goal of the tournament - put them ahead early on (17).

Despite Oleksandr Tymchyk striking a post as Ukraine searched for an equaliser, Slovakia dominated most of the opening 45 minutes but found Ukraine goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin - in for the dropped Andriy Lunin - in excellent form.

But the second half belonged to Ukraine. Chelsea star Mykhailo Mudryk showed bright moments throughout and it was his driving run that led to Mykola Shaparenko sweeping home Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko's cross from the left for the leveller (54).

From that moment, the Ukrainians were well and truly in the ascendancy. Mudryk then struck a post from a tight angle before substitute Yaremchuk grabbed the headlines when he showed brilliant technique to control Shaparenko's long ball forward and poke it past Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (80).

The result throws Group E wide open ahead of Belgium's match with Romania on Saturday evening. A win for the Belgians in Cologne would put all four teams on three points ahead of the final round of fixtures on Wednesday.

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The game's big moments...

Ivan Schranz celebrates after giving Slovakia the lead against Ukraine
Image: Ivan Schranz's header gave Slovakia a first-half lead in Dusseldorf
Ivan Schranz heads Slovakia in front against Ukraine
Image: Schranz's opener was his second goal of Euro 2024 after scoring the winner against Belgium
Mykola Shaparenko celebrates with team-mate Andriy Yarmolenko after scoring Ukraine's equaliser against Slovakia
Image: Mykola Shaparenko swept home Oleksandr Zinchenko's cross to equalise for Ukraine
Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring to give Ukraine a 2-1 lead against Slovakia
Image: Yaremchuk celebrates with Oleksandr Tymchyk after scoring Ukraine's winner in the 80th minute

Rebrov: We showed the spirit of Ukraine

Ukraine coach Serhiy Rebrov said: "We made some mistakes when we conceded the goal and we had to react in the second half.

"I told the players not to worry about the score and to give maximum effort on the pitch. I'm pleased for them, they did that. They gave their all on the pitch and showed the spirit of Ukraine.

"Of course, we have to concentrate on the next match, but this was a very important win for our country, for Ukraine, for our fans, who I am sure are very proud of the players."

Calzona: Slovakia still Euro 2024 underdogs

Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona said: "We had the opportunity but we knew that we were coming up against a team that had to win at all costs to stay in the hunt to make it through to the knockout stage.

"For us, we are the Cinderella story of the group stage. My team try to play football against anyone regardless of the opposition and I'm very proud of that.

"A few months ago it would have been inconceivable that our team could play against these strong sides."

Analysis: Emotional Ukraine deserve this moment

Sky Sports' Dan Sansom:

After Monday's shock loss to Romania - a team 23 places below them in the world rankings - Ukraine knew they had to respond against Slovakia to have a realistic chance of reaching the last 16, but they were disappointing in the first half even though they created several chances.

Despite their below-par performance, Rebrov's decision to drop Real Madrid goalkeeper Lunin was an inspired one, with replacement Trubin making four fine saves which suggested he should have been his country's No 1 in the first place.

The Benfica stopper kept his side in the match before Mudryk, who initially struggled to make an impact, began to grow in confidence. The Chelsea winger played an instrumental role in Ukraine's equaliser and was unlucky not to score himself before being substituted with five minutes remaining.

Ukraine, Euro 2024
Image: Ukraine shared an emotional moment with their supporters after the final whistle at the Dusseldorf Arena

By that time, he had already been involved in wild celebrations after substitute Yaremchuk produced a spectacular touch and finish to get Ukraine's tournament up and running.

The winner saw Yaremchuk break down in tears and earn a kiss on the head from Zinchenko before the emotional scenes continued when the players applauded their supporters inside the Dusseldorf Arena after the final whistle.

Of course, many more Ukrainians will be watching around the world and while it won't change the heartbreaking situation back home, their first comeback win at the Euros since 2012 will hopefully bring some joy to those who need it most.

How does ranking third-placed teams work?

The top two teams from each of the six groups will proceed to the round of 16.

Those 12 sides will be joined by four of the six third-placed finishers in the groups. The sides finishing third will be placed into a league table, with the top four sides progressing to the last 16.

The teams that finish third in their respective groups are ranked in order of the following criteria, starting with:

  1. Points
  2. Goal difference
  3. Goals scored
  4. Wins
  5. Lower disciplinary points total
  6. European Qualifiers overall ranking
  7. If hosts Germany are involved in the comparison, drawing of lots

The tournament then moves to a straight knockout format, with one-legged ties - including extra-time and penalties if necessary - until two sides reach the final on July 14 in Berlin.

Opta stats: Yaremchuk closing in on Shevchenko

  • Roman Yaremchuk scored his third goal at a major tournament, with only Andriy Shevchenko netting more for Ukraine (four).
  • This was Ukraine's 13th match at the European Championship, but they've never kept a clean sheet. They are the only side with more than five games at the finals without one.
  • Ivan Schranz is just the second Slovakia player to score more than one goal at a major tournament, along with Robert Vittek (four at the 2010 World Cup).
  • Peter Pekarik and Juraj Kucka made their 12th major tournament appearances for Slovakia, overtaking Marek Hamsík (11) as the most in the nation's history.

Stats: Story of the match

So far in Group E...

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