The round of 16 stage of Euro 2020 concluded with a bang as Ukraine beat Sweden 2-1 to book their spot in the quarter-finals.
The first knockout round of the tournament has provided several dramatic and nail-biting moments, as well as some truly shocking results. Sweden and Ukraine were not left out as they put up a breathtaking spectacle that will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.
A quick start to the game saw both sides fashion good chances. But it was Ukraine who drew first blood just before the half-hour mark.
Andriy Yarmolenko produced an audacious outside-of-the-boot flick that went round the Sweden defense to land perfectly for Oleksandr Zinchenko on the edge of the area.
The Manchester City man showed great technique to keep his strike low and the force of the shot meant that Robin Olsen stood no chance.
Sweden drew level through captain Emil Forsberg two minutes before halftime. Alexander Isak teed up the RB Leipzig man whose shot on goal took a wicked deflection to leave Georgi Bushchan wrong-footed in the Ukraine goal.
The second half kept up the same intense tempo and a 15-minute spell after the restart saw exciting end-to-end action played between the two sides.
Both goalkeepers were called into action with stunning saves, while the woodwork was also hit at both ends of the field.
The action dried up a little as the reality of extra time, as well as fatigue, took a toll on the players.
Sweden manager Janne Andersson went for the kill by making three attacking changes right at the start of extra time.
His plan, however, backfired when Marcus Danielson was given his marching orders for a horrendous studs-on challenge on Artem Besedin. The referee had initially brandished just a caution but changed his mind after consultations with the VAR.
Danielsson was extremely careless with the tackle, which left significant damage to Besdin's knee ligaments, and the red card was well-deserved.
The reduction to 10 men tamed Sweden's attacking impetus as the Scandinavian nation tried to hold on for penalties.
Ukraine struggled to make their one-man advantage count. But just when it looked like a penalty shootout was on the cards, substitute Artem Dovbyk netted a dramatic winner in injury time of extra-time.
Zinchenko found space on the left flank and set the ball on a plate for Dovbyk with a precise cross into the area. The Dnipro man only needed to glance home his header to send his country into wild celebrations.
Incredibly, the 24-year-old had only been on the field for 15 minutes and was indeed making his first appearance of the tournament. It was also his first international goal and he would be hard-pressed to score a more important goal in his career.
The victory means Ukraine have booked a quarter-final date with England at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday while Sweden head home.
Here are five talking points from the thrilling encounter at Hampden Park.
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#5 Sweden's Emil Forsberg departs Euro 2020 as one of the breakout stars of the tournament
Emil Forsberg has been one of the most important players for RB Leipzig who have become a force to be reckoned with in German football.
However, the Sweden international does not have a profile that matches his immense ability.
International tournaments often give an opportunity for a global audience to watch lesser-known players more closely. And talented footballers often take the opportunity to cement their legacies.
Emil Forsberg is one of those who undoubtedly made a mark at Euro 2020. He continued his fine run at the tournament with another star performance against Ukraine.
His directness and technique proved to be a handful for Ukraine in the first half. And it came as no surprise when he drew Sweden level with a fortuitous shot in the 43rd minute.
His luck, however, deserted him in the second half and he struck the post and crossbar with two shots from promising positions. He should have arguably buried those chances.
Emil Forsberg, who scored four goals in four games, boosted his stock with what was a splendid tournament for him on a personal level.
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#4 Fairytale run continues for Ukraine at Euro 2020
Ukraine have a relatively modest footballing history and came to Euro 2020 as one of the rank outsiders.
The Eastern European nation had tasted immense success earlier. They were part of the USSR who won the first-ever edition of the European Championship.
However, a combination of several factors, including political turmoil and squad disharmony, meant Ukraine struggled to make a mark on the international scene since independence.
Andriy Shevchenko's appointment as manager helped calm the storm as the former striker has brought renewed optimism to his nation.
Despite this, few, if any, would have given Ukraine a chance of making an impact in this tournament. And their indifferent group stage campaign backed the notion.
They narrowly sneaked into the round of 16 as the fourth-best third-placed team. Ironically, they had Sweden to thank for their qualification.
Sweden's last-gasp winner in the five-goal thriller against Poland saw Ukraine book their spot in the knockout round of the Euros for the first time.
One of the hallmarks of Ukraine under Shevchenko has been their doggedness and cameraderie. This was in full evidence against a Swedish side many had tipped to be the dark horses.
The victory secures a date with England on Saturday. Despite being overwhelming underdogs against the Three Lions, there is no telling how far this Ukrainian side can go.
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#3 Sweden depart Euro 2020 with a tinge of regret
Sweden were far from being considered one of the favorites for Euro 2020. But the game against Ukraine offered the Scandinavians a window of opportunity.
In hindsight, before the tournament, Sweden would likely have seen qualifying for the knockout round as progress. Considering that they have not made it out of the group stage since 2004.
But Janne Andersson has some quality players at his disposal. The likes of Forsberg, Dejan Kulusevski and Alex Isak have all proved their mettle on the big stage.
The manner in which they topped a group also containing Spain, Poland and Slovakia was commendable. It gave them renewed optimism that the current crop could match Tomas Brolin and co., who made it to the semi-finals of Euro 1992 and the 1994 World Cup.
Furthermore, finishing atop Group E meant Sweden made it to the seemingly weaker bracket of draws, avoiding the likes of Belgium, Italy and France.
A win over Ukraine would have sent Sweden into the quarter-finals against England, with either Czech Republic or Scandinavian neighbors Denmark waiting in the last four.
However, a failure to get the job done against Ukraine saw the Swedes eliminated. In many ways it represented a disappointing end to a tournament that promised so much.
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#2 Marcus Danielson's horror tackle blemishes thrilling game between Sweden and Ukraine
Marcus Danielson had no intent of leaving his studs on Artem Besedin six minutes into extra time. The Dalian Pro defender had his eyes firmly on the ball and indeed cleared it before his follow-up left the Ukraine forward in a heap on the floor.
The manner in which Danielson's studs crashed into Bedesin's planted knee was frightening to watch and it got scarier with each replay.
The Dynamo Kyiv forward, who had only come on six minutes earlier, was forced to hobble off with his knee heavily strapped. He would be lucky to escape a serious injury.
There is no word yet on the severity of the 25-year-old's injury, but his tournament could well be over.
This was the only low point in what was an otherwise thrilling game between Ukraine and Sweden.
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#1 Impressive Zinchenko helps Ukraine create history
Oleksandr Zinchenko experienced the low-point of the game when he was on the losing end for Manchester City in the Champions League final against Chelsea.
The 24-year-old said the defeat left him feeling dejected. But the spirit in the Ukraine camp helped lift him up after he joined up with his compatriots.
Exactly one month on from that harrowing defeat against Chelsea, Zinchenko was the star of the show as Ukraine booked their spot in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
The former PSV man broke the deadlock against Sweden with an exquisite finish in the first half. He also delivered the precise cross from which the winner was scored in extra time.
Having inherited the captain's armband following Yarmolenko's departure, Zinchenko's scream of delight when the final whistle was blown showed how much the win meant to him.
In one month, the utility player has gone full-circle to experience the extreme emotions that football can conjure.
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