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Ukraine secure only second Euros win thanks to Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk goals
Both teams miss penalties in the second half
Andriy Shevchenko's left hanging on against spirited North Macedonia
Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk both scored again, and this time it was enough.
The pair of forwards netted a goal each in the first half Thursday to give Ukraine a 2-1 victory over North Macedonia at the European Championship.
The same two players also scored in the team's opening match at Euro 2020 on Sunday, but that ended up being a 3-2 loss to the Netherlands.
Yarmolenko netted from close range in 29th minute after Oleksandr Karavaev's flick from a corner. He then released Yaremchuk on the right flank in the 34th to double the lead with a low shot past onrushing goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.
The goals were separated by five minutes. Against the Dutch, they scored only four minutes apart.
The pair also equaled coach Andriy Shevchenko's record of scoring two goals at the European Championship. Shevchenko netted his in a 2-1 victory over Sweden when the country co-hosted Euro 2012, Ukraine's only previous victory at the continental tournament.
Ezgjan Alioski got the only goal for North Macedonia in the 57th minute when he scored on a rebound after goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan blocked his penalty shot.
The penalty was awarded after Karavaev brought down North Macedonia striker Goran Pandev, who was aiming for a rebound after Bushchan pushed a shot from Aleksandar Trajkovski onto the woodwork.
Ruslan Malinovskyi later had a penalty saved by Dimitrievski on the other end. It was awarded for a handball following a free kick after a video review.
Ukraine now has three points in Group C while North Macedonia has zero and is facing elimination from the tournament.
Ukraine is appearing in its third European Championship and has never progressed out of the group stage. The team will remain in Bucharest for its final group match against Austria while North Macedonia will travel Amsterdam to face the Netherlands.
Referee Andres Rapallini of Argentina was in charge of the game at the National Arena with linesmen Juan Pablo Belatti and Diego Bonfa assisting. They were taking part in the European tournament amid an exchange with South American soccer body CONMEBOL.
A Spanish refereeing crew will take charge of a Copa America match between Chile and Bolivia on Friday.
FT; Ukraine 2 North Macedonia 1
There was time for Trajkovski to try his luck with a spectacular volley from distance but it flies wide.
Ukraine have their first win in European Championship history! They entertained again but they still look brittle defensively. Malinovksy was excellent bar his missed penalty.
Ukraine give the ball away - they have managed this game terribly - but Trajkovski shoots wide with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. That should be that.
Half a chance for North Macedonia. Trichkovski stood up a cross but the header was too strong to find a red shirt with the knockdown. Time running out now.
Four minutes of stoppage time!
A nervy one for Ukraine. North Macedonia have been very game.
North Macedonia have a corner! Malinovsky lost the ball on the edge of his own defensive third.
Alioski whips it in, but then Aramovski is penalised for trying an overhead kick which made contact with a Ukraine defender.
Alioski whips a ball in which goes all the way through the penalty area. Stepanenko is down with cramp which will waste a few more precious seconds for Ukraine.
North Macedonia have thrown another forward on. Malinovsky tries to make up for his missed penalty but blasts a shot from distance well over the bar.
Well that was Ukraine's chance to make life easy for themselves. Four of five penalties have been missed in this tournament. Could we be in for a late twist?
SAVED! Malinovsky denied
Another penalty missed in the tournament! Dimitrievski diving to his right with the save.
Nobody spotted in real time but looking at the replays it was handball.
Var is just checking for a potential penalty, quite a lengthy delay. Looks like the referee is going to check the screen. I think it is for handball against North Macedonia. A player lifted his arm in the wall up to his face. That could be a penalty.
Ukraine making a conservative sub: Shaparenko coming off for defensive midfielder Avramovski. This would be Ukraine's first ever win at the Euros.
Sweeping move from North Macedonia but Mykolenko defends well. A long throw is then headed away and Ukraine have bodies forward on the counter before Musliu gets a block in. Bardi coming off for North Macedonia, Avramovski coming on.
Oooh, Ukraine should have had their third but Tsygankov never approached his shot with conviction as it bounced towards him in space and he scuffed it wide of the post.
Ukraine look happy to play largely on the counter attack now. It is North Macedonia seeing most of the ball and doing most of the pressing. Ukaraine sub: Andriy Yarmolenko makes way for Viktor Tsygankov. Fellow goalscorer Roman Yaremchuk is also off, replaced by Artem Besedin.
A lengthy spell of possession around the Ukraine box, and Trajkovskiat shoots well from distance and forces Bushchan to tip the ball around the post.
After the corner is cleared, North Macedonia come again and Elmas almost gets in after a quick one-two at the dge of the box.
Ukraine spurn a chance to score their third. Karavaev almost had too much time to pick out a pull-back when bombing from right-back but the ball fell for Malinovsky who stung the palms of Dimitrievski. The third goal would settle some nerves.
North Macedonia passing the ball well through the thirds but the move breaks down with an aimless cross. Yaremchuk gets Ukraine up the pitch and wins a throw in. The striker has been linked with a move to West Ham this summer.
Velkovski of North Macedonia gets booked and Ukraine have the chance to deliver the ball into the box with quality. Malinovsky sent it in but it is headed away.
Ukraine playing their part in another thriller here. There are surely more goals in this, possibly at both ends.
Alisoki scores at the second attempt!
The penalty was well saved but the Leeds' man adjusted his body well to hook the ball into the back of the net. Game on!
North Macedonia penalty!
There was a cracking shot from distance which produces a brilliant save onto the bar from Bushchan, but Karavayev caught Pandev as a he tried to latch on to the rebound.
North Macedonia so exposed at the back again with Yarmolenko sending Yaremchuk away but he takes a heavy touch in the box to let them off the hook.
Malinovsky with a wicked delivery from a wide free kick and the goalkeeper Dimitrievski tips it over the bar to keep the score down to two. From the corner, Zabarnyi plants a header straight at the goalkeeper.
Almost the dream start to the half for North Macedonia with Bardhi through in the inside left position but Bushchan does brilliantly to tip it around the post.
We are back under way!
Will North Macedonia settle for their fate or throw caution to the wind?
HT: Ukraine 2 North Macedonia 0
The ideal 45 minutes from Ukraine. They have weaved some pretty patterns again and got the goals that put them in command of this game.
Just the one minute of added time.
Ukraine though they might have a penalty but the referee rightly books Shaparenko for simulation. The player knows it too, walks away looking sheepish.
North Macedonia are playing like a team with the ambition to try and get back in this, but in doing so they run the risk of getting a bit of a hiding here. So much space for Ukraine's attacking players out there.
North Macedonia thought they had one back but the flag goes up! Pandev with the run behind the Ukraine defence, and after bundling his way through a challenge he lifted it over the goalkeeper.
Then Karavayev's shot at the other end almost deflects beyond Dimitrievski.
Ukraine's opening goal
Ukraine in full control now. They have played some good stuff in these first two games. They look like a team who could score goals against anyone, but the very best teams might out-score them.
GOOOOAALL! What a beautiful piece of Ukraine football
Will it stand? Yaremchuk looked on the edge of offside...but he's on thanks to the speed of the pass from right-backk Karavayev. That's the benefit of passing with just one touch, Yaremchuk was onside and he cooly slides the ball beyond the goalkeeper. Lovely move.
Yarmolenko in the thick of the action, now he is down injured after an awkward fall. Should be alright to carry on. Ukraine now need to put this game to bed and make their superiority count.
GOOOALLL! Yarmolenko gets his goal
He was knocking on the door and it has finally opened. From the resulting corner, Ukraine win first contact at the near post and it dribbles all the way to Yarmolenko at the back post for the easiest of tap-ins. Soft goal for North Macedonia to concede.
Yarmolenko getting closer and closer! This time he runs across to the left and is found by a lovely through ball from Malinovsky but the angle narrowed on him and the goalkeeper blocked his shot.
Malinovsky and Zinchenko pulling strings in midfield but the latter's lofted through ball towards Yarmolenko had too much on it. Ukraine in control of this now but have not found the breakthrough.
We've seen this film before: Yarmolenko runs at the North Macedonia defence and cuts inside on to his left foot but his shot took a deflection and Dimitrievski palmed away.
Good interplay from Ukraine to cut Macedonia open and get to the bar-line but the pull back evades Yaremchuk and is intercepted. We are getting closer to an opening goal.
No goals yet but the game has an open feel, which is no surprise to anyone who watched Ukraine against Holland. They try to play and throw numbers forward, and are very technical if a bit lightweight in the middle of the pitch.
North Macedonia have settled now and are getting in down Ukraine's left repeatedly. This time Elmas gets across the near post and his flick finds the side-netting. Ukraine left-back Mykolenko is being left isolated.
That was a promising move from North Macedonia. Ademi shows good feet to skip inside a challenge and let fly from distance. The shot was blocked but it broke for Nikolov wide right who skewed a shot across goal.
Ademi with a nice pass from midfield for Macedonia to get them moving down the right but Ukraine look really dangerous on the counter again, but this time Yaremchuk strayed offside.
North Macedonia have not really got the ball into the feet of Pandev or their forwards with any quality so far.
Delicious turn from Yaremchuk to burst in behind the North Macedonia defence but he was in two minds about shooting or squaring across the area and Velkovski got back to block.
Ukraine enjoying some possession around the edge of the North Macedonia penalty area. Yarmolenko scuffs a cross-shot with his right foot and it gets turned behind for a corner. The pressure is growing.
A bit of scramble in the box in the box, then Malinovsky takes a snap shot with his left foot which Dimitrievski pushes around the post.
Gaps starting to open up in the North Macedonia defence, with Yaremchuk looking dangerous up front. Zinchenko tries to pick him out with a cross but Dimitrievski comes off his line to punch.
North Macedonia try to ping a diagonal out to Alioski but the ball runs out of play. Ukraine will be expected to control possession bu they have given the ball away sloppily on a couple of occasions in the early minutes.
Let's hope for goals.
Great to see such colour back in stadiums
The players are out for the anthems
The stadium in Bucharest looks at about 25 per cent capacity. Still a decent atmosphere.
They'll be trying this one at Hackney Marshes
It's certainly been the weather to enjoy a cone, though not this kind.
One to keep an eye on
I do not have the precise statistic but I was struck by the number of backheels Ukraine played in the Holland game. It must have broken records. They played some really pretty football but did leave themselves exposed.
North Macedonia team and subs
Starting XI: Dimitrievski, Stefan Ristovski, Velkovski, Musliu, Nikolov, Ademi, Spirovski, Alioski, Bardhi, Pandev, Elmas
Subs: Bejtulai, Ristevski, Trickovski, Trajkovski, Hasani, Jankov, Kostadinov, Siskovski, Radeski, Avramovski, Churlinov, Milan Ristovski
Ukraine team and subs
Starting XI: Bushchan, Karavayev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko, Shaparenko, Stepanenko, Zinchenko, Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Malinovsky
Subs: Sobol, Sudakov, Kryvtsov, Sydorchuk, Marlos, Pyatov, Makarenko, Tsygankov, Besyedin, Trubin, Tymchyk, Dovby
Ukraine's focal point up top
Yaremchuk showed some lovely touches up front against Holland.
Ukraine entertained, now they need to tighten up
A group stage match up between Ukraine and North Macedonia might be the fixture that makes you finally tackle that pile of washing up in the sink but stay with us, because these two were the great entertainers in their opening games.
Their two matches produced nine goals, with Ukraine's 3-2 defeat against Holland a rip-roaring feast of attacking football when both teams seemed to agree on vacating central midfield. Andriy Yarmolenko scored a glorious goal which started a Ukraine fightback, but Denzil Dumfries' late winner leaves them needing victory today in Bucharest. They look like being a good watch under Andriy Shevchenko, and keep an eye out for Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko playing in his natural midfield role next to Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskiy.
Former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Shevchenko told a press conference: "First of all, we need to play our best game.
"We have our worked-out playing pattern and much will depend on our midfield - how they will move and how they will move the ball, the speed and precision of their passes.
"We are a team that loves to attack. Being clinical will be the key tomorrow."
North Macedonia are playing in their first major tournament and at least got on the scoresheet before class finally told against Austria. Goran Pandev got their goal, a player who is older than the country he represents. Lest we forget they beat Germany in March, and one of their key players is Ezgjan Alioski who has been excellent at left-back for Leeds United although something of a mischief maker on the pitch.
North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski told a press conference his side would play without fear in their bid to progress from the group.
He said: "We came to the Euros to reach the round of 16. Whoever wins this match will improve their chances to advance. We are not feeling any pressure, we are motivated, and we will play to win."
Full team news on the way shortly.