Shakhtar in U21 national team: defeat against Iceland

The Ukraine U21 national team entertained the group leaders Iceland as part of the Euro 2017 qualification round. FC Shakhtar midfielder Viktor Kovalenko took part in the game.

October 8. Cherkasy. Tsentralnyi stadium.

Ukraine U21 - Iceland U21 - 0:1 (0:0)

Goals: 0:1 Wilyalmsson (71)

Ukraine U21: Buschan, Svatok, Duts, Miroshnichenko (Luchkevich, 85), Sobol, Mishnev, Kovalenko, Yurchenko (c), Petryakov, Zinchenko, Bezborodko (Besedin, 77)

Substitutes: Sarnavskiy, Migunov, Matvienko, Filimonov, Khlyobas

Head coach: Serhiy Kovalets

Iceland U21: Shram, Arnarson, Hermannson, Bedvarsson, Sigurjónsson (c), Ómarsson, Gunnlaugsson, Björnsson, Trandarson (Wilyalmsson 65), Iohanneson (Aygisson, 87), E. Omarsson

Substitutes: Olaffson, Ionsson, Gretarsson, Ionsson, Finnbogason

Head coach: Eyolfur Sverrisson

Booked: Svatok (3), Ómarsson (17), Sobol (42), Miroshnichenko (51), Björnsson (66), Yurchenko (84)

Referee: Adrien Zhakkotte (Switzerland)                     

Before match

After Ukraine’s unexpected defeat in the first round against their peers from Macedonia, the U21 national team head coach Serhiy Kovalyov paid attention to the fact that it is necessary to take points in the Iceland clash. The visitors were going into this game in a better position. They had already played three Euro 2017 qualifiers, two which they won, and another match ended in a draw.

First half

The opening minutes of the match saw an end-to-end game. In the beginning of the match following an accurate pass from Viktor Kovalenko from deep Denys Bezborodko had a chance to score but the ball flew wide of the far post. Iceland responded in the next episode. Oleksandr Svatok committed a foul near the penalty area, the opponents took a free kick but the ball went wide of the target. Midway through the first half the teams slowed down a bit. Ukraine created a goal scoring opportunity on 25 minutes. Oleksandr Zinchenko drifted towards centre from the right flank, made a pass to Bezborodko inside the penalty area, but Shram’s shot was blocked by Denys. Overall, Serhiy Kovalets’ charges were gradually taking control of the game, forcing the opponents to play without the ball. As a result, on 39 minutes, Bezborodko received a pass from deep inside the penalty area to take a shot first time but hit the crossbar. The ball bounced to Kovalenko, but Viktor failed to react and send the ball into unguarded net.

Second half

After the half time break the Ukraine national team continued actively looking for chances. Vladlen Yurchenko came close to opening the score. The midfielder tried to lob the opposition goalkeeper from the penalty area line, but hit the crossbar. Iceland proved to be luckier. On 70 minutes, they organized one of their rare attacking moves. Wilyalmsson, who came on as a sub, struck goalwards – Georgiy Buschan failed to make a save. Ukraine went forward with more gusto, searching for equaliser. Ivan Petryak made a run down the left flank, but Shram saved his shot towards the near corner. Kovalenko arrived first on the rebound, but Bedvarrson threw himself with a tackle at Viktor’s feet thus preventing him from finishing the attacking move. In the final minutes, Serhiy Kovalet’s charges piled o pressure but Iceland managed to hold onto their narrow lead in this match.
On 13 October, Ukraine U21 will play an away game with France.