3 things we learned from Ukraine v. North Macedonia

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Ukraine beat North Macedonia in a thrilling game in Bucharest, as Andriy Yarmolenko provided the moments of quality to secure a win in Group C.

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The West Ham United striker put Ukraine ahead and set up Roman Yaremchuk for another, as Andriy Shevchenko’s side dominated the first half and won their first European Championship game since 2012.

North Macedonia surged back in the second half as Leeds United’s Ergjan Alioski scored after his penalty kick was saved but the minnows couldn’t find an equalizer, as Malinovskiy had a penalty saved.

With the win Ukraine move on to three points, while North Macedonia need have lost their opening two games but have fought bravely.


3 things we learned, Ukraine – North Macedonia

1. Ukraine’s attackers: With Yarmolenko, Malinovskiy and Yaremchuk in attack, Shevchenko has some serious attacking talent. They mesh well and if they can stay solid defensively, Ukraine can go far in this tournament. In recent times they’ve beaten Spain and drawn with France and we’ve seen enough in their two opening games to suggest they can cause an upset.

2. Brave North Macedonia just come up short: They have been a breath of fresh air in their first-ever major tournament, but just didn’t have enough quality in attack. Pandev is class and so too is Alioski, but nobody else really stood tall and kept their composure. Based on these displays, we will be seeing a lot more from North Macedonia in the coming years.

3. Group C wide open: With Austria and the Netherlands facing off after this game, there’s is the potential that a draw will leave this group wide open. There doesn’t seem to be much between those two teams and Ukraine, as all three will still believe they can win the group.

Man of the Match: Andriy Yarmolenko – Goal and an assist from the West Ham man who finally looks fit and ready to roll.


Ukraine came flying out of the traps but just couldn’t get the final pass correct, as North Macedonia defended stoutly early on.

Yarmolenko was denied with a good stop but from the resulting corner, the West Ham United forward tapped home at the back post as Ukraine grabbed a deserved opener.

Malinovskiy and Yarmolenko were causing North Macedonia plenty of problems and Yaremchuk then doubled Ukraine’s lead after a fine assist from Yarmolenko.

Goran Pandev finished superbly as North Macedonia thought they had pulled a goal back, but the goal was ruled out as the veteran forward was clearly offside.

After bringing on Chrulinov and Trajkovski at half time, North Macedonia improved drastically in the second half and a shot from distance was saved brilliantly by Bushchan and after the ball came back off the crossbar, Pandev was fouled and a penalty was given.

Alioski had his penalty kick saved but fired home the rebound to set up a wild final 35 minutes.

Trajkovski had a fine effort from distance saved by Bushchan as the minnows pushed hard for a late equalizer.

Ukraine had a few chances on the break as Tsyhankov dragged a poor effort wide and they then won a penalty kick, as VAR was used and a handball in the wall was spotted.

But Malinovskiy had his spot kick saved by Dimitrievski. Late on Trajkovski fired inches wide as Ukraine just held on for the win.