Ukraine win to boost hopes
Ukraine claim 3-1 win in Poland to climb to third in Group H
Last Updated: March 22, 2013 10:28pm
Andriy Yarmolenko: Scored an early opener for Ukraine
Ukraine claimed their first victory in World Cup qualifying Group H by beating their Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland on a thrilling night in Warsaw.
The visitors had failed to win a competitive game since beating Sweden at last summer's tournament but a double salvo from Andriy Yarmolenko and Oleg Gusev put them on the right track.
Lukasz Piszczek ensured a few nervous minutes when he notched Poland's only goal but Roman Zozulya made the points safe for Ukraine on the stroke of half-time.
The goal difference swing saw Ukraine jump up to third in Group H and push Poland into fourth place behind England and Montenegro with Moldova dropping to fifth.
Ukraine boss Mykhaylo Fomenko's quest for a first win looked to be over when his side took a quickfire two-goal lead.
After just two minutes Yarmolenko opened the scoring in style with a curling shot from outside the area.
Poland struggled to close their ranks and Gusev promptly doubled Ukraine's advantage with a screamer from 25 yards.
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski could only head into Andrei Pyatov's gloves but in the 18th minute Piszczek squeezed the ball home from Jakub Blaszczykowski's free-kick.
Blaszczykowski fancied a goal of his own but his left-footed volley sailed over the crossbar.
Poland would live to regret that missed opportunity as Ukraine pulled two goals clear again just before the break.
This time Yarmolenko's header from just outside the area found Zozulya perfectly placed to volley home with aplomb.
An attritional period followed the half-time interval but the game jolted back to life as Pyatov parried Ludovic Obraniak's fierce right-footed effort on the hour mark.
Ukraine answered that baring of teeth immediately through Gusev, whose shot was tipped round a post by Artur Boruc.
The Southampton goalkeeper stood even taller to keep Vyacheslav Shevchuk's close-range effort out of his net but he could only close his eyes and hope as Gusev spooned over the bar from six yards.
Lewandowski's late attempt at mounting a comeback raised few eyebrows, though, and Ukraine climbed into third place.