July 03, (THEWILL) – Ukraine staged an impressive comeback to defeat France 3-1 in the last quarter-final of the European under-21 tournament held in Romania.
Georgiy Sudakov was the star of the match, scoring twice to overturn France’s initial lead. After Bradley Barcola set up Rayan Cherki to open the scoring, Ukraine rallied before halftime with Mykhailo Mudryk orchestrating their resurgence. Mudryk’s penetration into the French defense led to a penalty, which Sudakov converted, and later his accurate pass found Sudakov again to give Ukraine the lead.
They controlled the game in the second half and sealed the victory with a late goal by Artem Bondarenko. Before their match, in the earlier quarter-final clash, England secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Portugal in Kutaisi, Georgia. Anthony Gordon’s clinical finish from Morgan Gibbs White’s assist proved to be the decisive goal.
Despite facing pressure from Portugal in the second half, England’s strong defensive display, led by goalkeeper James Trafford, ensured their perfect tournament record remained intact. England has yet to concede a goal in the competition and will now face Israel in the semi-final, while Ukraine will take on Spain. With their qualification for the final four, Ukraine, Spain, and Israel have also secured berths in the football tournament at the 2024 Paris Games.
England, on the other hand, does not have a separate Olympic football team. The upcoming semi-final between England and Israel will be a rematch of their group stage encounter, which ended in a 2-0 victory for England. Meanwhile, Ukraine will face Spain in the other semi-final clash scheduled to take place in Bucharest.