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Ukraine v North Macedonia Live Commentary, 17/06/2021

2 - 1
A. Yarmolenko (29)
R. Yaremchuk (34)
E. Alioski (57)
Arena Naţională


That is all from this Euro 2020 fixture, until next time!
North Macedonia are now reliant on the Netherlands versus Austria game later today in Group C, otherwise they will become the first team to be knocked out of Euro 2020. Angelovski's men next travel to face Frank de Boer's side on Monday, while Ukraine play Austria on the same day.
Ukraine end their six-game winless run at the European Championships with a thrilling 2-1 win over North Macedonia. Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk gave Shevchenko's men a two-goal lead in the first half before Pandev saw his left-footed chip ruled out for offside. In the second half, Alioski saw his penalty saved by Buschan but immediately followed up to pull a goal back. Malinovskiy then spared Angelovski's men another chance as he saw his penalty saved by Dimitrievski, however, North Macedonia couldn't find a late equaliser in Bucharest.
90' + 4' WIDE! Ukraine lose possession as they look to launch a counter-attack near the halfway line. Trajkovski manages to work space outside the area to the right and he powers a right-footed strike towards the top left corner. Every player on the pitch in Bucharest seems to hold their breath but Trajkovski's driven effort goes agonisingly wide of goal to the left.
90' + 3' Since 1980, this is the first European Championship match to see both sides miss a penalty. It is also the first European Championship game to see both sides win a penalty (excluding shootouts) since England versus France in 2004.
E. Sobol
R. Malinovskyi
90' + 2' Malinovskiy, who just missed the chance to seal the win for Ukraine, comes off and Sobol replaces him.
90' + 1' Alioski's corner gets headed away at the near post before Avramovski tries an ambitious acrobatic attempt. Instead of finding the target, the substitute gives away a free-kick and the chance to test Buschan fades away.
90' Ristovski wins a corner on the right-hand side and Alioski races across to deliver. Will there be one final twist in this match in Bucharest?
89' Stepanenko goes down after Buschan collects the ball and Ristovski is quickly over to help his opposite man get over cramp. Despite the chaos that has ensued in the last 10 minutes or so, that is a wonderful show of sportsmanship.
87' 37-year-old Pandev scored his nation’s first ever goal at a major tournament in their first game against Austria. Pandev would become the oldest player to ever score in consecutive matches in the same European Championship tournament, five years older than the current record holder Rui Costa for Portugal at EURO 2004 (32y 87d). Can he find a late equaliser for his country to make more history?
K. Ristevski
A. Ademi
North Macedonia
85' Ademi also makes way for Ristevski.
I. Trichkovski
D. Velkovski
North Macedonia
85' Angelovski makes another change as he sends on Trichkovski for Velkovski.
R. Malinovskyi
Penalty Miss
84' Malinovskiy looks for the bottom left corner with his left-footed penalty but Dimitrievski reads the midfielder's intentions as he dives to his right and parries away a save. Dimitrievski has kept his team in this game as we approach the closing stages.
S. Dimitrievski
Penalty Save
North Macedonia
84' PENALTY SAVED! Another penalty save comes as Malinovskiy sends his left-footed strike towards the bottom left corner and Dimitrievski guesses the right way. Unlike Alioski’s effort, the rebound also gets hooked away by the North Macedonians.
D. Avramovski
Yellow Card
North Macedonia
83' With the penalty given by Rapallini, the referee has no choice but to caution Avramovski for using his hand to block Malinovskiy's attempt in the wall.
83' PENALTY TO UKRAINE! After some consideration at the touchline monitor, Rapallini gives a penalty to Ukraine as he indicates there was a handball in the wall by Avramovski from Malinovskiy’s free-kick. The North Macedonians are furious but they can't complain as Avramovski raised his hand in the wall!
82' Ristovski wants to get the ball back in play from a throw-in but Rapallini stalls and it looks like VAR is considering giving a penalty. Rapallini goes over to the touchline monitor to check whether the ball has been handled from Malinovskiy's prior free-kick that hit the wall.
81' Malinovskiy opts to shoot from the resulting free-kick but his left-footed strike gets driven into the wall. Sydorchuk then does his job as he sits on the edge of the North Macedonia area and recycles possession.
80' Tsygankov knocks past Musliu before going down on the right-hand side, just outside the area. Malinovskiy stands over the set-piece and this could be a chance to seal the game.
S. Sydorchuk
M. Shaparenko
78' Shevchenko makes a sensible change as he substitutes off the creative Shaparenko for the defensive Sydorchuk.
D. Avramovski
E. Bardhi
North Macedonia
77' Angelovski makes another substitution as he brings off Bardhi for Avramovski.
77' Ristovski, after starting the attack, finds himself in the right-hand corner and he wins a throw-in off Mykolenko. The right-back launches the ball into the box but Zabarnyi does well at the near post to head away a clearance.
76' Shaparenko wanders inwards before playing towards Mykolenko. The left-back drives forward but Ristovski dispossesses him before looking to launch a North Macedonian attack.
74' WIDE! Tsygankov has a chance to seal the game as he sneaks in at the far post, courtesy of Malinovskiy's smart pass towards his right. Tsygankov rushes his effort, striking a left-footed volley wide of goal to the left. The substitute should be doing better with that opportunity and a chance for the Ukraine goes abegging.
73' Musliu looks to be suffering with cramp and goes down in the right-hand corner. After a quick stretch, he is back on his feet and the centre-back looks fit to carry on.
72' North Macedonia’s 3-1 defeat to Austria was their first defeat by more than one goal since losing 2-0 to Poland in October 2019. They haven’t lost consecutive games by 2+ goals since a run of three between June and September 2005 (6-1 vs Czech Republic and 3-0 and 5-1 defeats vs Finland).
A. Besedin
R. Yaremchuk
70' At the same time as Tsygankov's introduction, Besedin also replaces Yaremchuk and now neither of Ukraine's successful duo are on the pitch.
V. Tsygankov
A. Yarmolenko
70' Yarmolenko is Shevchenko's first change as he brings off his captain and replaces him with Tsygankov.
69' Ademi slides through for Elmas and Karavaev is forced into turning behind for another corner. Bardhi then sets his sights on goal with a long-range right-footed effort, which he blasts over the crossbar.
69' SAVE! Bardhi works inwards and finds Trajkovski, who smashes an ambitious right-footed shot towards the bottom right corner. Buschan makes the sensible choice as he chooses to parry around the post as opposed to trying to hold the dipping and swerving effort.
68' Despite being Euro 2020's lowest-ranked team, the North Macedonians are more than holding their own. On this occasion, Elmas swings a cross in and Zabarnyi just about manages to head clear, with Pandev ready and waiting to pounce behind him.
67' Yaremchuk and Dimitrievski clash after the goalkeeper's save from the Malinovskiy shot. The referee is quickly on the scenes and diffuses any potential conflict before allowing play to go on.
66' CHANCE! Yarmolenko scuffs his initial chance to the right of goal after Karavaev cuts back. Malinovskiy is there, however, to unleash a right-footed shot towards the top right corner. Dimitrievski makes a smart stop from close range to deny the Ukrainian.
65' Zinchenko sees Yarmolenko in space in the right-hand channel but the Manchester City man's pass lacks quality, which allows Dimitrievski to rush out of his goal and intercept.
63' The duo of Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk combine once more on the right-hand side. The Ukraine captain thinks he has won a corner before going down after a tackle from Musliu. North Macedonia get the goal-kick and Yarmolenko is quickly back to his feet.
62' Ristovski looks to cross towards the near post but Mykolenko is there to produce a diving header to clear. Down the other end, Yaremchuk buys his side a breather as he wins a throw-in on the left flank.
60' Just one of the four penalties taken at EURO 2020 have been scored. Alioski and Angelovski will not care, however, as they have still managed to pull one back and put some pressure on Shevchenko's men.
D. Velkovski
Yellow Card
North Macedonia
59' Velkovski becomes the first North Macedonian name in the book for hacking down Malinovskiy in the middle of the park.
59' Alioski's goal will give North Macedonia that little bit of belief. Ukraine are keeping playing, however, and Malinovskiy wins a free-kick 35 yards from goal with his quick feet.
H. Bushchan
Penalty Save
57' Buschan guesses the right way as he dives to his left to push away a penalty save from Alioski's left-footed strike. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, he concedes on the rebound and North Macedonia have pulled one back!
E. Alioski
Penalty Miss
North Macedonia
57' Alioski misses the initial penalty kick as he looks for the top right corner. Buschan reads the left-back's intentions, parrying away a save before conceding on the rebound.
E. Alioski
North Macedonia
57' NORTH MACEDONIA PULL ONE BACK! After Pandev wins the penalty, Alioski takes it and his left-footed strike gets saved by Buschan, who dives to his left to parry away a save. Alioski is there on the rebound, however, to hook a left-footed volley back into the empty net and Buschan has no chance of stopping the left-back from making it 2-1.
56' PENALTY TO NORTH MACEDONIA! Angelovski’s men go short from the corner before Trajkovski’s effort rattles the crossbar, courtesy of a great save from Buschan to tip onto the woodwork. Pandev looks to pounce on the rebound and the forward goes down as he gets caught by Karavaev, who is attempting to hook away a clearance. Rapallini doesn’t hesitate as he awards a penalty and VAR then sticks with the original decision!
55' Elmas dances past two tackles before setting his sights on the bottom right corner with a long-range left-footed effort, which Zabarnyi blocks behind.
54' Ukraine have lost each of their last six matches at the European Championship finals, the joint-longest run in the competition’s history alongside Yugoslavia (six straight defeats from 1968-1984). They look set to end that poor run of form here.
52' The game remains an end-to-end affair in the second half. Zabarnyi sees his headed effort saved before he is required to head clear away from Pandev at the other end. North Macedonia have to score the next goal here otherwise they are out of this tie and probably the tournament.
51' SAVE! Trajkovski slams into Karavaev off the ball and Ukraine get a free-kick in a good position wide on the right flank. Malinovskiy sends a left-footed delivery towards goal, missing all of his team-mates and looking for the top left corner. Dimitrievski sees it all the way and dives to his right to tip over the crossbar.
49' Shaparenko is down on the left-hand touchline and the game goes on while he receives treatment on the side. He quickly returns to his feet and seems to be fine after indicating an initial issue with his ankle.
48' Angelovski's double change at half-time means that North Macedonia have moved to a back four. Alioski moves a little deeper to left-back, with Risotvski occupying right-back and Trajkovski coming on to operate up top and partner Pandev.
47' SAVE! Buschan gets down well, diving low to his right to tip around the post and deny Ademi's right-footed strike. The midfielder initially exchanged a one-two with Pandev before powering into the area and unleashing a low effort.
46' Referee Rapallini gets the second half underway!
D. Churlinov
S. Spirovski
North Macedonia
46' Spirovski also comes off at the same time as Nikolov's removal and Churlinov replaces him.
A. Trajkovski
B. Nikolov
North Macedonia
46' Angelovski doesn't hang around as he makes a double change at half-time, the first of which sees Nikolov make way for Trajkovski.
Angelovski will be aware that his team must get a result here, otherwise they face an early exit from Euro 2020. While Pandev saw his goal ruled out, North Macedonia have failed to test Ukraine barring that and he may want to add some attacking impetus up top. In contrast, Shevchenko will be delighted with his men's first-half efforts.
North Macedonia's fast-paced start had Ukraine looking slightly nervous. Shevchenko's men quickly asserted their dominance, however, as Yarmonlenko poked home from a corner to open the scoring. Yaremchuk then doubled their lead before Pandev saw his cool, left-footed chip ruled out for offside. As the two teams wander down the tunnel at half-time, Ukraine lead this game in Bucharest 2-0.
45' The fourth official indicates there will be just the one minute of added time as Ukraine patiently work possession around the back.
M. Shaparenko
Yellow Card
43' Shaparenko powers down the left-hand side before going down under the challenge of Velkovski inside the box. Ukraine think they have a penalty when the referee blows his whistle, however, Rapallini sees it differently and cautions Shaparenko for simulation.
42' Yaremchuk brings down a long pass before exchanging a one-two with Zinchenko. Alongside Malinovskiy, the Manchester City man and his midfield partner are dominating this game and North Macedonia are struggling to get near to the pair.
40' SAVE! Alioski needlessly messes around outside his own area and Zinchenko dispossesses him before sliding right to Karavaev. The right-back drills a low right-footed effort and, via the help of a deflection, Dimitrievski manages to scramble around and make a low save inside his own six-yard area at the second attempt.
39' NO GOAL! Pandev thinks he has got his side back in the game as he cuts in from the right of goal before lifting a left-footed chip over the incoming Bushchan. A smart finish immediately gets ruled out for offside as the North Macedonian forward had strayed well past the last defender in the build-up to the chance.
38' It's the same duo again that profited against the Netherlands. Yarmolenko adds another assist to his European Championship tally, while Yaremchuk has now scored in three consecutive appearances for Ukraine. In fact, Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk are the first ever duo to both score in both of their side's opening two matches at a single European Championship tournament.
36' Elmas nearly swivels past two tackles inside the Ukraine area as he manages to stay on his feet and chase towards the byline. Unfortunately for the forward, the ball goes out of play and Buschan gets a goal-kick, which he sends long.
A. Yarmolenko
34' Yarmolenko drifts out wide and escapes the attentions of Alioski before sliding a first-time pass to Yaremchuk, who makes his way towards the right of goal after beating the offside trap with a curved run. Yaremchuk then coolly slots a right-footed finish into the bottom right corner to double Ukraine's lead.
R. Yaremchuk
34' GOOOOOALLLL! 2-0 UKRAINE! Velkovski tries stepping out and playing the offside trap but Yaremchuk beats the high line as Yarmolenko pokes through for the forward with a right-footed first-time pass. Yaremchuk makes it to the right of goal before confidently sliding a right-footed finish low past Dimitrievski into the bottom right corner. VAR checks for offside before confirming the goal can stand. Shevchenko's men now have a two-goal advantage and it's looking like a long way back for North Macedonia.
33' Yarmalenko has scored (two) or assisted (one) three of Ukraine's five goals at the European Championships. It's also the first time since October 2016 that Yarmolenko has scored in three consecutive games for Ukraine.
31' After scoring the opening goal, Yarmonlenko finds himself on the floor due to a heavy tackle in the middle of the park. The Ukraine physios come on and Shevchenko's captain is quickly back to his feet and ready to carry on.
O. Karavaev
29' Yarmolenko's saved left-footed effort wins a corner on the left-hand side. Malinovskiy delivers towards the front post, where Karavaev produces a smart flick towards the far post. Yarmolenko finds himself completely unmarked and can't miss from close range as he prods past Dimitrievski with his right foot.
A. Yarmolenko
29' GOOOOOALLLL! 1-0 UKRAINE! Yarmolenko’s initial low left-footed effort gets parried behind by Dimitrievski. From the resulting corner, Malinovski delivers towards the front post and Karavaev helps on towards the back post. Yarmolenko is alert to the chance, sneaking in at the far post to poke past Dimitrievski with a low right-footed shot from inside the six-yard area. North Macedonia completely switched off there and they’ve been made to pay!
28' Musliu's poor pass allows Zinchenko to find Yaremchuk through the middle. The forward, rather negatively, opts to play backwards and Ukraine retain possession. Would Shevchenko prefer his forward to be a little braver there and attack the three-man defence in front of him?
27' Zinchenko tries to improvise and chip over the top for Yarmolenko but he overhits his pass and it goes out for a goal-kick. In the build-up, Malinovskiy goes down off the ball from Spirovski's foul, however, the referee plays advantage and the opportunity comes to nothing.
26' Only current Ukraine manager Shevchenko (48) has scored more goals for Ukraine than Andriy Yarmolenko (41), with Yarmolenko looking to score in three consecutive matches for his national side for the first time since October 2016.
24' CHANCE! A mistake from Angelovski's men allows Yarmolenko the chance to drive down the right-hand side before he squares up Musliu to cut back in on his left foot from the right of goal. The Ukraine captain looks for the top left corner, like he did against the Netherlands, but his left-footed strike gets deflected and Dimitrievski manages to parry away a comfortable save.
23' Pandev uses all of his experience as he invites Matvyenko to foul him and the centre-back duly obliges. North Macedonia get a free-kick and, perhaps more importantly, the chance to catch a well-deserved breather.
21' Yaremchuk feeds Karavaev, who makes it to the byline on the right before cutting back to the forward near the penalty spot. Yaremchuk's first touch, however, lets him down and the opportunity goes abegging.
19' Bardhi plays through the legs of Zinchenko before passing to Pandev, who outpaces Yarmolenko on the left-hand touchline. The forward then looks inside but none of his team-mates are there and Zinchenko recovers to regain possession.
17' CLOSE! Nikolov finds a yard of space in the right-hand channel and he arrows a low cross towards the near post. Elmas drifts away from his man and looks to turn a right-footed shot towards the bottom right corner. Unfortunately for Angelovski's men, Elmas' deft touch goes just wide of goal to the right and Bushchan isn't required to make a save.
15' Nikolov drives down the right-hand side before playing to Bardhi, who sees his long-range effort blocked. The loose ball falls back to Nikolov, who completely miscues his effort and his right-footed strike ends up nearer to the corner flag than Buschan's goal.
13' Alioski works it to Bardhi and he finds Nikolov, who from the right flank look to cross towards the near post. His attempted cross gets blocked, however, that passage of play shows North Macedonia are more than capable of working possession about themselves and they're not just going to sit back and defend.
12' Yaremchuk spins past Velkovski and powers towards the right of goal, where he looks to square towards the back post. Remarkably, Ristovski does excellently to recover and produce a last-ditch block which stops what looked to be a certain goal.
11' Ukraine and North Macedonia’s four previous meetings have only produced four goals (3 for Ukraine, 1 for North Macedonia). Despite this, it has been an incredibly open start in Bucharest.
10' WIDE! From the resulting set-piece, Malinovskiy delivers towards the far post, where Yarmolenko uses his strength to get in front of his opposite man. Despite working hard to find space, the Ukraine captain can only poke wide with his left foot at the back post and the chance to test Dimitrievski fades away.
9' SAVE! Malinovskiy wanders over to the right of the area before setting his sights on the bottom right corner with his left foot. Dimitrievski initially appears wrong footed but he does well to get across and tip around the post for a corner.
8' Yarmolenko sees his right-footed strike deflected behind and Ukraine get the first corner of the game. Shaparenko's delivery causes chaos at the near post, however, Elmas eventually manages to clear.
7' Karavaev plays inside and via Malinovskiy, Stepanenko and Zinchenko, the ball finds left-back Mykolenko, who sensibly opts to play backwards as Shevchenko's team remain patient in possession as they look to carve out an opening.
6' Nikolov's touch lets him down as Zinchenko presses him on the right-hand touchline. After North Macedonia's fast-paced start, Ukraine are growing into the game and slowly asserting their dominance on proceedings.
5' Dimitrievski is called upon to punch away Malinovskiy's cross before Karavaev powers a right-footed volley well over the crossbar from around 25 yards out.
4' Malinovskiy catches Ristovski with a high foot and the centre-back wins another free-kick for his team inside their own half. If it wasn't the opening stages of the game, the Ukrainian may have ended up in the book there.
3' Alioski looks over the top for the run of Elmas but the chipped pass skips away from the forward and ends up in the hands of Bushchan. The North Macedonians have started well in Bucharest.
2' Spiroski arrows a smart pass out to the left-hand side to Alioski, who immediately finds Pandev. The forward goes down and wins the first free-kick of the game near the halfway line.
1' With the national anthems over and done with, referee Fernando Rapallini gets the game underway!
Ukraine have beaten North Macedonia in both of their competitive encounters prior to this match (1-0 at home and 2-0 away, in qualifiers for Euro 2016).
Angelovski opts for just the one alteration to the starting line-up that lost against Austria. Up front, Trajkovski makes way and Spirovski replaces him, meaning Elmas will likely occupy a more advanced role against Ukraine today. Apart from that, the starting-11 remains unchanged and left wing-back Alioski needs to be careful as he is one booking away from a suspension at Euro 2020.
Andriy Shevchenko makes two changes to the side that narrowly lost last time out. Oleksandr Zubkov misses out through injury and Shaparenko takes his place, meaning Malinovskiy will move further forward to partner Yaremchuk and Yarmolenko up top. The other change sees Sydorchuk drop to the bench and Stepanenko comes into the midfield for him.
SUBS: Egzon Bejtulai, Ivan Trickovski, Ferhan Hasani, Daniel Avramoski, Aleksandar Trajkovski, Risto Jankov, Darko Churlinov, Marjan Radeski, Kire Ristevski, Tihomir Kostadinov, Milan Ristovski, Damjan Siskovski.
NORTH MACEDONIA (3-4-1-2): Stole Dimitrievski; Stefan Ristovski, Darko Velkoski, Visar Musliu; Ezgjan Alioski, Stefan Spirovski, Arijan Ademi, Boban Nikolov; Enis Bardhi; Goran Pandev, Eljif Elmas.
SUBS: Sergey Krivtsov, Viktor Tsygankov, Artem Dovbyk, Oleksandr Tymchyk, Andriy Eduard Sobol, Anatolii Trubin, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Heorhii Sudakov, Marlos Bonfim, Artem Besedin, Evgeniy Makarenko.
UKRAINE (4-3-3): Georgi Bushchan; Oleksandr Karavaev, Illia Zabarnyi, Mykola Matvyenko, Vitalii Mykolenko; Oleksandr Zinchenko, Taras Stepanenko, Mykola Shaparenko; Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Malinovskiy, Roman Yaremchuk.
Just like Ukraine, North Macedonia also succumbed to late defeat in their opening Group C fixture. A historic Goran Pandev goal had the visitors level, however, two late goals from the Austrians resigned Igor Angelovski’s side to a 3-1 defeat in Bucharest.
Ukraine came out on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller against Netherlands in what was arguably the game of the tournament so far. A 3-2 loss for the hosts will still have encouraged them and they will be looking to collect their first points of Euro 2020 against Euro 2020’s lowest-ranked side today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Euro 2020 Group C clash between Ukraine and North Macedonia.