Euro 2012 - Ukraine lose five-goal thriller
Ukraine suffered a blow in their build up to Euro 2012, losing 3-2 in a friendly to Austria at Tivoli Neu in Innsbruck.
The hosts scored the winner in the 90th minute, when Marko Arnautovic grabbed the goal of the game from the edge of the Ukraine box to win the game for the hosts.
Austria had taken the lead just three minutes into the game through a free kick from Zlatko Junuzovic, and the visitors struggled to find a way back in the first half.
A frantic period of play started in the 11th minute of the second half when this summer’s co-hosts got their equaliser. Oleg Gusev was presented with a simple finish to tap in.
The hosts went ahead again in the 63rd minute, Arnautovic getting his first of the game after being given time to pick his spot past substitute Ukrainian goalkeeper Maxim Koval.
Just three minutes later, Gusev brought the game back level with a shot from the outside of the box, curling his shot into Heinza Lindner’s goal.
The game looked to be heading to a draw, until Arnautovic’s stunning finish to send the home crowd celebrating a win.
It was a below par performance by Oleh Blokhin’s men, who as well as facing Sweden, will meet France and England in Group D at Euro 2012. They play their final warm-up match before the tournament against Turkey on Tuesday.
After taking the lead in the third minute through Junuzovic’s curled free-kick, Austria struggled to keep the pressure on Ukraine.
Despite dominating the possession in the first half, Ukraine struggled to create anything of real note, making far too many simple errors which they will hope to eradicate come their European Championship opener against Sweden.
This summer’s Euro 2012 co-hosts equalised in the 56th minute. Serhiy Nazarenko took a free kick on the edge of the Austria penalty area, which hit the wall and fell to Andriy Yarmolenko, who squared to Gusev for a tap in.
It sparked a frantic ten minutes, as in the 63rd minute, Austria went ahead again. Arnautovic got his first of the game, as he found the ball at his feet after decent build up play by David Alaba. Arnautovic had time to pick his spot and fire past substitute goalkeeper Koval.
Just three minutes later, the game was level once more. Gusev got his second of the game, but this one was far more impressive. Yarmolenko weaved into the Austria box, and had time to find the Dynamo Kyiv star on the edge of the box to curl a shot past Lindner.
It was the goal of the game until the 90th minute. The home side had looked threatening when breaking forward quickly for the entire game, and they got the winner their positive approach deserved.
Arnautovic received the ball on the left wing, cut inside the box, and with his right foot unleashed a perfectly curled shot into the top corner of the far post.
It was the penultimate friendly for Ukraine before co-hosting Euro 2012. They will play their final friendly against Turkey on Tuesday, before beginning their campaign against Sweden in front of their home fans in Kiev on the June 11. †