And now, it has made it to the quarter-finals. Ukraine eliminated previously unbeaten Sweden 2-1 on Tuesday (Wednesday in IST) with a goal in stoppage time at the end of extra time. Substitute Artem Dovbyk, who played no part during the group stage, stooped low to guide a header off Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross past Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
It was the 24-year-old forward’s first goal for the national team. Ukraine’s greatest-ever forward, current head coach Andriy Shevchenko, ran down the touchline to celebrate with his players, who will now head to Rome to face England on Saturday (Sunday in IST).
Zinchenko also scored a goal on a day when his Manchester City teammate Raheem Sterling got one in England’s 2-0 last-16 win over Germany in London. The versatile Zinchenko gave Ukraine the lead in the 27th minute when he rifled in a low shot following a crafty pass from captain Andriy Yarmolenko. Emil Forsberg equalised for Sweden in the 43rd minute with a deflected shot from outside the box. It was his fourth goal at Euro 2020, but a tournament lead-tying fifth eluded him in the second half despite curling shots off the post and the crossbar.
There was a momentum shift in extra time. Sweden defender Marcus Danielson was sent off in the 98th minute for following through on a challenge with a raised boot on substitute Artem Besedin. Neither team had ever won a knockout game at a European Championship in a combined eight previous tournaments. And, both often-cautious sides played freely in a wide-open 90 minutes, trying to seize a chance for a deep run in the arguably weaker half of the draw.
Results: Sweden 1 (Emil Forsberg 43’) lost to Ukraine 2 (Oleksandr Zinchenko 27’, Artem Dovbyk 120+1’); England