When officials ruled that Marko Devic's shot against England did not cross the line, Ukraine fans started to get that sinking feeling all over again.
A goal would have levelled their final Euro 2012 Group D match at 1-1 and fired hopes of a comeback victory for the co-hosts that would have set up a quarter-final against Italy.
It had happened before, after all, when Andriy Shevchenko's headed double brought Ukraine back from the dead to snatch a 2-1 win over Sweden in their opening game of the tournament.
Devic's effort was disallowed, however, and the hosts never seriously threatened England again, a 1-0 defeat sending them out of the tournament and continuing a depressing trend in Ukraine's short football history.
Near-misses have been a regular occurrence since Ukraine's first game as an independent nation in 1992 which they lost 3-1 to Hungary in their new national colours.
Ukrainians had formed the backbone of the old Soviet Union side for years and the fledgling nation was looking forward to fielding its own team for the first time since the fall of communism.
But that optimism was short-lived.
Dynamo Kiev dominated the domestic league at the time, winning 13 titles in 17 years and qualifying regularly for Champions League group stages, but when the same players went on international duty they repeatedly failed to deliver.
Three times Ukraine missed out on major tournaments by falling at the final hurdle. They lost to Croatia and Germany respectively in the playoffs for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and failed to reach Euro 2000 following an agonising loss to Slovenia.
They did make it to the 2006 World Cup but again came up short when Maxim Kalinichenko hit the woodwork twice in a 2-0 quarter-final defeat by Italy. It remained their only appearance at a major tournament until they hosted Euro 2012.
That is a meagre return for a nation which has produced such gifted players as current national coach Oleg Blokhin and strikers Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov.
As Shevchenko struggled to make an impact at Chelsea and Rebrov failed to fire at Tottenham Hotspur, the Ukrainian team have regularly flattered to deceive.
As England and Italy fans stream into the capital city, the pride locals have in their side remains undimmed, and Dynamo Kiev fan club leader Kirill Boyko proudly wore his Ukrainian shirt during a recent interview with Reuters.
“"Ukrainian people are very patriotic," he said. “"Ukraine can be proud. We were better than England, everyone could see that, but then the linesman couldn't."
At least the decision by the officials gave fans and players a perfect scapegoat and they feel no need to blame the team or coach for the their early exit.
Ukraine fans must wait until Sept. 11 for their next game, when they get an early chance to avenge the loss to England in their first World Cup Group H qualifier at Wembley.
Joining them in the group are Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland who are also seeking to make up for their early exit on home soil.
With Ukraine's Euro 2012 dream having ended abruptly in Donetsk where they have not won in seven attempts Ukrainians will hope that marks the first step for a side which can finally deliver on its promise.