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Euro 2024: Mudryk sends Ukraine to seventh heaven

Ukraine, at war for two years against Russia, qualified for Euro 2024, beating Iceland in the play-off 2 goals to 1 on Tuesday in Wroclaw in Poland where the match was relocated.

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Euro 2024: Mudryk sends Ukraine to seventh heaven

Ukraine, at war for two years against Russia, qualified for Euro 2024, beating Iceland in the play-off 2 goals to 1 on Tuesday in Wroclaw in Poland where the match was relocated. As against Bosnia in the previous round, the Ukrainians initially seemed completely paralyzed by a possible qualification, the stakes of which went far beyond the sporting aspect.

Apathetic throughout the first period, they were punished by a compact Icelandic team, led by Genoa striker Albert Gudmundsson. Author of a hat-trick against Israel in the play-off semi-final, Gudmundsson scored his 4th goal in as many days, outplaying the entire Ukrainian defense to strike at the edge of the area and deceive Andriy Lunin (1-0 , 30th).

But carried by the 40,000 spectators at the Worclaw Arena, all committed to their cause, the 250,000 Ukrainian nationals now living in this city in south-west Poland, and a people for whom they are on a mission every time they enter on a football field, Mykhaïlo Mudryk's partners completely changed their face in the second half. Monopolizing the ball, preventing the Icelanders from leaving their camp, they equalized thanks to Girona winger, Viktor Tsygankov (1-1, 54th). It was Mudryk, the Chelsea winger, who dealt the blow in the 84th minute and delivered his partners who had gained the upper hand over the completely exhausted Icelanders.

In Germany this summer, the Ukrainians will be transferred to Group E, an open group in which they will find Belgium, favorite, Romania and Slovakia, whose head of government, Robert Fico, leads an openly pro-Russian policy. For two years, each match of the “Zbirna”, the nickname of the Ukrainian selection, has taken on a greater stake than the simple sporting objective.

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