The Ukraine men’s national team’s first match since Russia’s invasion of their country could hardly have carried more weight, emotionally or sporting, and the Blue and Yellow responded with a 3-1 defeat of Scotland in a World Cup qualifying playoff semifinal at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Andriy Yarmolenko put Ukraine ahead in the 33rd minute with a magnificent bit of coordination, taking down a Ruslan Malinovskyi long ball and popping it over keeper Craig Gordon.
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And Roman Yaremchuk nodded a cross back across goal and inside the far post shortly after halftime to complicate Scotland’s quest to reach Sunday’s playoff final versus Wales. The winner joins a World Cup group with the United States men’s national team, Iran, and England.
Celtic’s Callum McGregor gave the hosts hope when his blast took a wicked turn and Taras Stepanenko’s goal line clearance did not defy the Goal Decision System.
But Artem Dovbyk scored deep in stoppage time as Ukraine gave their fans and country a huge lift on a night strewn with emotion.
Wales played a UEFA Nations League match against Poland on Wednesday, with Jakub Kaminski and Karol Swiderski leading the hosts to a 2-1 win over the Welsh.
Sunday’s playoff final between Wales and Ukraine will kickoff at Noon ET.
Scotland vs Ukraine final score, stats
Scotland 1, Ukraine 3
Scorers: Yarmolenko (33′), Yaremchuk (49′), McGregor (79′), Dovbyk (90’+5)
UKRAINE GOES UP 1-0 OVER SCOTLAND IN THE WORLD CUP PLAYOFF 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/kS81s90YIX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 1, 2022