The Slovenia Times

Euro 2016 playoff: Slovenia fall into 2-0 hole against Ukraine


The favoured home team, which in 28th is ranked 36 spots ahead of Slovenia in FIFA's world rankings, was never seriously threatened by the guests while producing as many as 15 shots on goal en route to a convincing victory.

Crowning a sizeable advantage in possession in the opening minutes, Ukraine opened the scoring when Andriy Yarmolenko took a rebound in the box and sidestepped three Slovenian defenders to create a clear shot in the 23rd minute.

Slovenia responded by looking to press ahead and created two chances in the next ten minutes, including a volley from the edge of the box by Josip Iličić in the 27th minute which flew over the Ukrainian goal.

But the home team quickly steadied the ship and again secured dominance on the field with help from some fine play by midfielder Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Ukraine converted the dominance into a second goal in the 54th minute, when Yevhen Seleznyov pushed the ball into the net after a counter attack down the left started by Yarmolenko.

They nearly made it 3-0 only minutes later, as Denys Garmash broke open down the left but had his shot saved by Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanović.

Handanović was beaten by Seleznyov in the 69th minute, after the Ukrainian striker was allowed free on goal by two Slovenian defenders who collided on a high ball, only to see the shot bounce off the post.

Slovenia attempted to mount a late push on the Ukrainian goal, but aside from a Nejc Pečnik strike that flew over the goal in the 74th minute never truly threatened.

The green-and-white finished the match with no shots on target, which will need to change if they are to have any chance of erasing the deficit on Tuesday.


More from Nekategorizirano