Ukraine pulled off a shock 1-0 win at home to Spain in the Uefa Nations League last night at a raucous Olympic Stadium in Kyiv as fans savoured a first ever victory over the 2010 World Cup winners.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side took the lead against the run of play in the 76th minute when Viktor Tsygankov took David de Gea by surprise by firing home from outside the area, after latching on to an outstanding reverse pass from Andriy Yarmolenko.
The goal was wildly celebrated by the whole Ukraine team and some 21,000 fans spaced out across the stadium, with the hosts taking advantage of Uefa regulations allowing 30 per cent capacity at certain matches in an easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Ukraine had lost their last three outings, including a 4-0 reverse to Spain last month and a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of France in a friendly last week, after losing six players due to Covid-19 positives.
Luis Enrique’s side took control of the play in the first half and practically monopolised possession, nearly going ahead with a Sergio Ramos free kick which struck the bar and when Ansu Fati caught a clear sight of goal but missed the target.
Ukraine were much better after the break and Oleksandr Zubkov missed a golden chance to give them the lead when he deceived De Gea in the area but somehow missed the target with the goal gaping.
Spain then went for the jugular, as midfielder Rodri hit the post and Mikel Oyarzabal was thwarted by the outstanding Ukraine goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan, who was making only his third appearance for his country after three other goalkeepers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Yet the visitors were soon undone down the other end by some lax goalkeeping from De Gea and were left to dwell on a shock defeat in the stadium where they had beaten Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final.
Meanwhile, Germany twice had to come from behind to earn a rollercoaster 3-3 draw against visitors Switzerland.
The Swiss took an early lead through Mario Gavranovic and Remo Freuler added a second before goals from Timo Werner and Kai Havertz levelled the scores. Gavranovic then grabbed his second only for Serge Gnabry to earn Germany a point.
The result moves Germany within a point of League A Group Four leaders Spain, who remain on seven points. Ukraine have six points, while the Swiss, still without a win, stay bottom with two points.
Germany coach Joachim Loew reverted to a four-man defence for the game in an empty stadium, after they had led in the last four games only to concede equalisers in three of them.
But it remained their weak spot last night as they struggled with quick breaks from the Swiss who found far too much space.