Ukraine got their Euro 2020 campaign underway with a 2-1 win over north Macedonia in Bucharest. they put their defeat in the first match against the Netherlands behind them. goals from Andriy Yarmalenko and roman Yaremchuk in the first half put them firmly in the driving seat.
North Macedonia put on a fight in the second half and was rewarded with a penalty. Goran Pandev was brought down in the box by Vyacheslav Karavayev. Leeds star Ezgjan Alioski stepped up to take the spot-kick. He missed it but turned home the rebound to give the underdogs hope. The equalizer set up a grandstand finish but Ukraine held on to secure their first points of the group stage.
Ukraine: Bushchan (7), Karavaev (6), Zabarnyi (6), Matviyenko (7), Mykolenko (6), Stepanenko (6), Shaparenko (6), Zinchenko (7), Yarmolenko (8), Malinovskyi (8), Yaremchuk (7).
Subs: Tsygankov (6), Besedin (6), Sydorchuk (n/a), Sobol (n/a).
North Macedonia: Dimitrievski (7), S Ristovski (7), Velkovski (6), Musliu (6), Nikolov (5), Ademi (6), Spirovski (5), Alioski (7), Bardi (8), Elmas (7), Pandev (7).
Subs: Trajkovski (7), Churlinov (6), Avramovski (n/a), Ristevski (n/a), Trickovski (n/a).
Man of the match: Ruslan Malinovskiy
Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko: “This part of the European Championship is a very different atmosphere, during any second the balance of the team can change. The team played a very good first half but then our mistake caused a penalty.” Ukraine coach Shevchenko said after the win against North Macedonia. “Then some anxiety and nervousness appeared. We got more chances and should have scored a third but we also have to praise our rivals. North Macedonia has character.’
North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski: “The match is 90 minutes and the goal was to be more cautious in the beginning, unfortunately, we conceded from a corner.” Angelovski said. “In the second half, we saw the real Macedonia and why we are here at the European Championship. Congratulations to the boys for the great game in the second half. If the public rewards you with that kind of applause it indicates you have played a good match.”