Ukraine vs Austria UEFA Euro LIVE Football Score 21 June 2021
Ukraine take on Austria in Group C of Euro 2020 on Monday. The two nations head into the meeting level on three points after both beating North Macedonia and losing to Netherlands in their opening two matches, so a draw would almost certainly see both teams progress to the knockout stages.
After falling to Denzel Dumfries’s late winner in a pulsating 3-2 defeat to Netherlands in their opening match, Ukraine bounced back with a 2-1 win against North Macedonia on Thursday.
Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, who both scored in the defeat to Frank de Boer’s side, got themselves on the scoresheet once again during a comfortable first half, but Ezgjan Alioski’s strike before the hour mark set up a nervy finish to the game.
However, Andriy Shevchenko’s side managed to hold on to ensure that destiny remains in their own hands ahead of their last group game against Austria on Monday.
Due to having scored one more goal than the Austrians, a draw would guarantee Ukraine’s progression to the last 16 in second place, so it remains to be seen whether Shevchenko sets up his side in a more cautious manner than we have seen so far. For Austria, then, playing for a draw would be a more risky strategy, as it would mean that they would be hoping to be one of the four best third-placed teams in order to advance in the competition.
However, it is tough to envisage any side with four points and a neutral goal difference not going through given that one or two third-placed teams from other groups are likely to only have three points (or perhaps four points with a negative goal difference). Should Ukraine and Austria essentially play for a draw as many people are predicting, it would not be the first time the Austrian national team have been embroiled in a similarly controversial scenario.
Heading into their final group game against West Germany at the 1982 World Cup, both nations knew that a one or two-goal victory for the West Germans would guarantee both sides’ progression to the knockout stages. West Germany duly took the lead after 10 minutes, with neither side even attempting to attack for the rest of the match.
Let us hope we do not see a similar spectacle on Monday. In fairness, having comfortably been beaten 2-0 by Netherlands on Thursday, Austria manager Franco Foda may look to prioritise restoring confidence within his ranks by going for the win.
Austria striker Marko Arnautovic will return to the squad after his suspension for his country’s second game against the Netherlands.
The former West Ham player, who now plays in China for Shanghai Port, was banned after being found guilty of insulting another player in his side’s opening win over North Macedonia.
Ukraine could be without injured defender Denys Popov, who has a calf problem.
The Dynamo Kiev player was on the bench for his side’s opening game loss to the Netherlands and missed the second game against North Macedonia.
Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko said: “There’s a high chance he [Popov] won’t be playing tomorrow.”
- Ukraine and Austria have faced each other in two friendlies, each side winning once. This is their first encounter at a major tournament.
- The two previous games between Ukraine and Austria produced eight goals, an average of four per match.
- Ukraine ended a run of six consecutive defeats at the European Championship with a 2-1 win over North Macedonia last time out. They haven’t won consecutive matches at a major tournament since beating Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup, with current boss Andriy Shevchenko scoring in both of those wins.
- Ukraine’s Roman Yaremchuk has scored in each of his first two appearances at the Euros. Prior to this year’s tournament only seven players have found the net in their first three matches at the European Championship, most recently Gareth Bale at Euro 2016 for Wales.
- Yaremchuk has been directly involved in three of Ukraine’s four goals at Euro 2020 (two goals, one assist) and has netted in each of his past three games in all competitions. Since his first appearance in September 2018, Yaremchuk has scored 10 international goals – more than any other Ukraine player.
- Andriy Yarmolenko has scored in each of his past three matches for Ukraine, netting four goals, and is looking to score in four consecutive appearances for his country for the first time.
- Austria have won just two of their past 17 matches at major tournaments (Euros and World Cup) and have only won one of their eight matches at the European Championships (D2 L5).
- Austria have lost their last group stage match in each of their past three major tournament appearances, losing to Italy at the 1998 World Cup, Germany at Euro 2008 and Iceland at Euro 2016.
- Austria have had just seven shots on target in their two matches at Euro 2020 – only three of those efforts at goal have come from players in the starting XI, with 57% of their shots on target coming via substitutes (4/7).
- Aleksandar Dragovic, who has started Austria’s first two games, is in line to earn his 93rd cap, which would move him level with Gerhard Hanappi as their third-most capped player – leaving only Toni Polster (95) and Andi Herzog (103) as the two players with more international matches under their belt for Austria.