New Delhi: Ukraine stunned Scotland in the World Cup playoff semifinal 3-1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Wednesday. The WC qualifier match was originally been scheduled to happen in March, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced the match’s postponement. With this win, Ukraine is a step away from qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, which they played in 2006. Ukraine now needs to beat Whales at Cardiff to make it to the showpiece event, which is scheduled to begin on November 21 in Qatar.
With the war-torn country being dangerous for football practice, the squad has been shifted to a training camp in Slovenia on May 1 ahead of their showdown in Glasgow. The Ukrainian team played last in November before their important fixture against Scotland.
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Despite a preparation like none other teams in the world for an important fixture ahead of the World Cup, Ukraine has surprised with their ball possession from the moment whistle blew. Riding high on emotions of the supporters back in the war-torn region, Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko powered the team to win by netting the ball and an assist on either side of the halftime. The veteran captain’s 33rd-minute goal and a perfect assist for a Roman Yaremchuk’s header at the 49th-minute played a vital role in turning the tables against the Scots.
The second half was a bit tough for Ukraine as the Scots dominated throughout and with just 11 minutes for the play Callum McGregor came up with a tap in to close the gap before substitute Artem Dovbyk added a third goal for Ukraine in the stoppage time to have the last laugh in the match.