Ukraine will play England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 after substitute Artem Dovbyk netted a last-gasp winner in a 2-1, extra-time win over Sweden.
The sides went into half time level at 1-1 after a strong first period in which Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zinchenko’s sweet strike opened the scoring. However, Alexander Isak set up Emil Forsberg, whose deflected shot from long range got Sweden level.
In the second half, both sides hit the post, while Sweden hit the bar, but they could not be separated. Extra time largely came and went, amid a red card for Sweden’s Marcus Danielson.
Just as the match looked like it would go to penalties, though, substitute Dovbyk produced the moment to break Sweden hearts and set up a last-eight clash with Gareth Southgate’s men, who beat Germany earlier on Tuesday.
Ukraine employed a dangerous game plan early on and faced a Sweden overload, but they almost took the lead themselves through Roman Yaremchuk, who forced a save from Robin Olsen.
Sweden restored their dominance, though, with star striker Isak going close after Forsberg could not keep his header on target.
That would cost them, as Zinchenko fired Ukraine into the lead close to the half-hour mark. The Manchester City man controlled Andriy Yarmolenko‘s pass and sliced the ball perfectly past Olsen.
However, Sweden’s threat was obvious and they responded through Forsberg, whose deflected and powerful shot proved too much to handle for Georgi Bushchan.
In the second half, both sides had clear-cut chances but were denied by the post in a pinball-style couple of minutes.
Sebastian Larsson smashed the left-hand frame with one effort, before Sergiy Sydorchuk went up the other end and had similar luck.
However, Forsberg then hit the post again, offering agonising emotion as he walked away.
Sweden kept coming and Dejan Kulusevski shifted the ball onto his left foot and forced a fine save from Bushchan, who leapt into the air and across his posts to meet the strike.
Red card before stunning winner
The final 15 minutes saw the game go into a lull, with neither side willing to risk a winner through fear of conceding.
As such, extra time came, but the first 15 minutes was dominated by a host of cramp, injury and fitness problems.
There was key action, though, with Danielson being sent off after a VAR review. He may have won the ball in a tackle with Artem Besyedin, but his high foot went crashing dangerously into his opponent’s knee.
While both teams had clear-cut chances towards the end, it was Dovbyk who came up with the vital contribution.
He met Zinchenko’s pinpoint cross and headed past Olsen, before the goal survived a VAR check for offside.