Roman Yaremchuk Leads Ukraine’s Comeback Victory Against Slovakia in Euro 2024

Roman Yaremchuk, starting from the bench scored the match winning goal as Ukraine mounted an inspiring comeback to defeat Slovakia 2-1 and secure a spot in the Euro 2024 tournament.

Ukraine came back from a 1-0 opening to win 2-1 in the Duesseldorf encounter, bringing back their hopes for the tournament.

Roman Yaremchuk Leads Ukraine’s Comeback Victory Against Slovakia in Euro 2024
With a late goal against Slovakia, Roman Yaremchuk gave Ukraine the lead and launched their Euro 2024 campaign. @Sky Sports

Starting from the bench, Roman Yaremchuk scored the game-winning goal as Ukraine rallied to defeat Slovakia 2-1 and secure a spot in the Euro 2024 tournament on Friday. Ivan Schranz gave Slovakia the lead after 17 minutes in their thrilling triumph over Belgium in their opening match. Slovakia knew that success in Duesseldorf would send them to the knockout round with a game to spare.

After losing 3-0 to Romania the previous time out, Ukraine entered this game reeling. However, they persevered and Mykola Shaparenko gave them an equalizer nine minutes after the interval.

Dynamo Kyiv’s Shaparenko then set up Yaremchuk for the game-winning goal, tying Ukraine with Slovakia and Romania on three points in an open Group E. Before the last round of matches takes place on Wednesday, Romania will play Belgium, who are now at the bottom with no points, on Saturday in Frankfurt.

The Ukrainian players entered the sodden pitch in rainy Duesseldorf with Ukrainian flags slung over their shoulders, much as they had done prior to their first match against the Romanians.

The political narrative around this specific match was unavoidable given that they are attending the tournament in the midst of the current conflict in their native country.

Although Slovakia and Ukraine are neighbors, the populist prime minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, is opposed to providing military support to the Ukrainian people in their resistance to the Russian invasion. Fico was shot during an attempted murder attempt last month.

Peter Pellegrini took office as Slovakia’s new president this weekend, capping a campaign marked by disagreements on the situation in Ukraine.

Zuzana Caputova, his predecessor, was an ardent supporter of Ukraine; nevertheless, Pellegrini is an ally of Fico and is in favor of peace talks. At the Merkur Spiel-Arena, more people cheered for Ukraine than for their opponents as coach Serhiy Rebrov made four changes after their crushing defeat to Romania in Munich.

Taras Stepanenko, the captain, and Viktor Tsygankov, the winger for Girona, were among the players who withdrew. Anatoliy Trubin of Benfica took Andriy Lunin’s place in goal, as the latter’s mistakes proved costly in the first encounter.

However, Slovakia came into the game with confidence following their excellent performance against Belgium, and Trubin produced a wonderful save to deny Schranz after stopping Lukas Haraslin once.

Their early pressure paid off, as they soon scored the first goal. After David Hancko’s free kick was saved by Trubin, Haraslin’s throw-in saw him lob the ball from the byline to the back post, where Schranz of Slavia Prague headed it in.

But shortly after the interval, Oleksandr Tymchyk’s low shot was almost level thanks to a save by Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, whose fingertips tipped it onto the far post.

On minute 54, they leveled things up thanks to a brilliant play that saw Shaparenko sweep home Oleksandr Zinchenko’s low ball into the middle from the left.

With the momentum now in their favor, Rebrov’s squad struck the woodwork once more on minute 74, when Mykhailo Mudryk, having been set up by Yaremchuk, struck the post from a tight angle.

After controlling Shaparenko’s long ball over the top and poking past Dubravka to cause wild celebrations in the stands and tears of joy from the players at full time, it was Yaremchuk, the striker who has spent the entire season in Spain at Valencia, who scored the game-winning goal.

Also Read: England vs Denmark Ends in A 1-1 Draw in Euro 2024 Triumph

Roman Yaremchuk Leads Ukraine’s Comeback Victory Against Slovakia in Euro 2024
Following the final whistle at the Dusseldorf Arena, Ukraine and their supporters enjoyed a touching moment. @Sky Sports

Serhiy Rebrov, the Ukraine coach, stated:

“We made some mistakes when we conceded the goal and we had to react in the second half.”

“I instructed the players to put up their best effort on the field and not worry about the score. They succeeded, and I’m happy for them. They displayed the spirit of Ukraine while giving it their best on the field.”

“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.”

Francesco Calzona, the Slovakian coach, stated:

“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.”

“We see ourselves as the group stage’s Cinderella narrative. I’m really proud of my team because we strive to play football against everyone, no matter who the opponent is.”

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

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