Ukraine pens winning return with World Cup qualifying playoff semifinal win (video)
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.
[ MORE: USMNT vs Morocco preview ]
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)