Ukraine blow Group H open
Last Updated: 07/06/13 10:25pm
Ukraine: Romped to victory against Montenegro
England manager Roy Hodgson watched Ukraine claim a 4-0 win over Montenegro - who are currently top of Group H.
Both teams are battling for a qualifying spot with England, and Hodgson had expressed his hope for a draw given that Montenegro led the group by two points.
But the victory for Ukraine has now brought them to within a point of his side with two games against minnows San Marino to come and Group H now looks wide open.
Although Hodgson will still be encouraged by the suspensions awaiting both teams and would also welcome fourth-placed Poland being surprisingly held by Moldova.
Ukraine had Roman Zozulya sent off in first-half stoppage time but took the lead six minutes after the restart through Denys Garmash.
Yevgen Konoplianka made it 2-0 in between the dismissals of Montenegro's Vladimir Volkov and Savo Pavicevic, and Artem Fedetskiy and late substitute Romas Bezus added further goals.
Ukraine started brightly and Konoplianka shot wide before Andriy Yarmolenko's effort was saved uncertainly by Mladen Bozovic.
But Montenegro twice went close to an opener in quick succession. First defender Ivan Kecojevic met Elsad Zverotic's free-kick but fired over from close range, then Mirko Vucinic cracked a right-foot shot against a post.
Vucinic had another effort tipped around the post by Andrei Pyatov before Ukraine came back into the game, Garmash shooting wide before Konoplianka's free-kick was parried by Pyatov.
And the visitors were also denied by the woodwork when Yarmolenko hit the upright from 12 yards out.
Pyatov repelled Vucinic's free-kick before, in the 47th minute of a lively first period, Zozulya was dismissed for violent conduct in an incident which also saw team-mate Fedetskiy and Montenegro's Vlad Bozovic booked.
Montenegro sought to take advantage early in the second half but Filip Kasalica shot wide.
And instead it was Ukraine who took the lead when Mladen Bozovic fumbled Yarmolenko's long-range shot and Garmash squeezed the rebound between the keeper and Kecojevic and in off the far post.
Pyatov saved from Vucinic before referee Manuel Graefe reduced the game to 10-a-side, showing Volkov a second yellow card for a foul on Yarmolenko.
Milorad Pekovic headed Zverotic's free-kick wide but Ukraine doubled their lead in the 77th minute when Yarmolenko set up Konoplianka to finish from 12 yards.
Pavicevic's frustration immediately got the better of him and he collected a second booking for a foul on Edmar.
Yarmolenko hit a post and, after Vucinic tested Pyatov at the other end, Fedetskiy made it 3-0 with Yarmolenko again the supplier.
Bezus was introduced as a substitute in the 91st minute but had time to make his presence felt with a goal two minutes later, firing home right-footed.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Fri 7th Jun - Group B
Armenia0 - 1Malta
Czech Rep0 - 0Italy
Fri 7th Jun - Group F
Azerbaijan1 - 1Luxembourg
Portugal1 - 0Russia
Fri 7th Jun - Group I
Finland1 - 0Belarus
Fri 7th Jun - Group G
Latvia0 - 5Bos&Herz
Liechtenstein1 - 1Slovakia
Lithuania0 - 1Greece
Fri 7th Jun - Group A
Croatia0 - 1Scotland
Belgium2 - 1Serbia
Fri 7th Jun - Group H
Moldova1 - 1Poland
Montenegro0 - 4Ukraine
Fri 7th Jun - Group E
Albania1 - 1Norway
Iceland2 - 4Slovenia
Fri 7th Jun - Group C
Rep Ire3 - 0Faroe Isl
Austria2 - 1Sweden
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
|1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||25|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I