Euro 2012

Shevchenko stuns Sweden

2012-06-11 22:48
Andriy Shevchenko (AP)

Kiev - Ukraine's former European Player of the Year Andriy Shevchenko rolled back the years here on Monday as his second-half double inspired the Euro 2012 co-hosts to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sweden in their Group D encounter.

The 35-year-old Ukraine captain took his tally to 48 in 108 international appearances with two superb headers within seven minutes of each other - his opposite number Zlatan Ibrahimovic's neat 52nd minute finish had give the Swedes the lead.

The victory sees Ukraine - who are co-hosting the tournament with Poland - top the table after the other group match between France and England ended 1-1.

There had been little indication of the fairytale on the evidence of the first-half as Shevchenko looked way off the pace and when he was found free on the right of the box the 35-year-old, who has been struggling with injury for the past year, scuffed his shot and the ball went past the far post.

The Ukrainians carved out the best chances with another veteran Andrei Voronin forcing Andreas Isaksson to punch to safety from long range while one of the younger generation, Andrei Yarmolenko, was also denied by the Swedish 'keeper at closer range.

However, the Swedes should have broken the deadlock in the 40th minute but their captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw his free header just go the wrong side of the far post.

Ibrahimovic struck in the 52nd minute somewhat controversially as a Ukraine player was lying injured but the Swedes played on regardless.

The Ukrainians failed to clear their lines and Kim Kallstrom managed to lose his marker, collect Sebastian Larsson's cross and pass inside to Ibrahimovic, who coolly slotted it into the net and embarked on a typical flamboyant celebration, arm raised straight in the air.

The goal had been coming after the Swedes had come out pumped-up after the half-time break with Markus Rosenberg going close.

However, their lead last just three minutes as Yarmolenko delivered a superb cross into the area and Shevchenko like days of old got ahead of his marker, veteran Olof Mellberg, to head powerfully into the net.

The crowd, the scorer and his team went berserk and they were to even outdo that noise seven minutes later as from an Oleg Gusev corner Shevchenko nipped in ahead of Ibrahimovic, this time to head in at the near post.

The charismatic striker charged down the touchline to embrace his fellow former European player of the year Oleg Blokhin.

Sweden kept pressing for the equaliser with Kallstrom going the closest with a fierce effort from outside the area which the not always convincing Andrei Pyatov fumbled away and was fortunate that Ibrahimovic was unable to put the rebound past him.

The Swedes should have levelled the game in the dying minutes as Ibrahimovic's divine flick on set up Johan Elmander but showing the rustiness that has seen him only return to action here after a month out he flashed his shot across the post.

Read more on:    euro 2012  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


How much interest do you have in the Euro2012 championships?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.