Ukraine Hold Onto Lead and Eliminate North Macedonia from Euro 2020

Ukraine had to sweat it out, but they successfully defended their lead versus North Macedonia. They took home the three points mostly thanks to a commanding first half. They will now play their chances in the final game versus Austria. Goran Pandev and teammates are out.

Ukraine looked the superior side right from the get-go and started churning out chances. At the 8th minute, Ruslan Malinovskyi fired from distance, but Stole Dimitrievski parried it away. Twenty minutes later, the goalkeeper denied Andriy Yarmolenko from point-blank range on a deep pass.

However, Ukraine got the lead on the ensuing corner kick. Oleksandr Karavaev deflected the ball with a heel-flick, and Yarmolenko punched it home on the second post. It took them just five minutes to double it. The West Ham winger sprung Roman Yaremchuk past the offside with a timely through ball, and the forward beat the goalie on the one-on-one.

The tide turned at halftime as North Macedonia become more aggressive and effective. Arijan Ademi challenged Georgiy Buschan from close range, but the goalkeeper was very reactive. Aleksandar Trajkovski rattled the crossbar from outside the box, with the ball slightly tipped by Buschan. Pandev was tackled in the box on the following action. Egzjan Alioski missed the penalty kick but volleyed home the rebound, re-opening the contest at the 55th minute.

After that, Ukraine managed to regain some composure and limit the enemies’ forays by lowering the rhythm. They got a penalty in the final minutes as the ball hit Daniel Avramoski’s elbow while forming the wall on a free-kick. However, Dimitrievski saved Malinovskyi’s attempt. The final push by North Macedonia was unproductive despite a pair of solid attempts. Trajkovski just missed the target on a potent cross-shot in the last minute.