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Olympic Stadium opens after Ukraine victory

Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 19.09CET
Oleh Blokhin was delighted his side's 3-0 friendly win against Bulgaria enhanced the festive mood as Kyiv prepared for the opening of UEFA EURO 2012 venue, the Olympic Stadium.
by Boris Popov
from Kyiv
Olympic Stadium opens after Ukraine victory
Andriy Shevchenko celebrates scoring in Ukraine's 3-0 victory against Bulgaria ©AFP
 
Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 19.09CET

Olympic Stadium opens after Ukraine victory

Oleh Blokhin was delighted his side's 3-0 friendly win against Bulgaria enhanced the festive mood as Kyiv prepared for the opening of UEFA EURO 2012 venue, the Olympic Stadium.

Ukraine's renovated Olympic Stadium will be unveiled tonight in a star-studded ceremony, and the national team played their part in the celebrations with a 3-0 friendly success against Bulgaria on Friday.

An appearance from Colombian pop star Shakira will climax the official opening of the UEFA EURO 2012 final venue in Kyiv, but it was Yevhen Selin who was the star on the pitch, opening the scoring on his debut.

The FC Vorksla Poltava midfielder helped break the Ukraine's run of four consecutive losses as they prepare to co-host next year's finals, captain Andriy Shevchenko adding his 46th international goal and Andriy Yarmolenko rounding off the scoring.

It was the side's last appearance at the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium, the home of FC Dynamo Kyiv, and coach Oleh Blokhin was pleased his team could add to mood in the city. "We knew there was a celebration today and the last thing we wanted to do was spoil it," he said. "It was very important to score more goals and secure the confident victory."

The Czech Republic inflicted a 4-0 defeat on Ukraine last month, but the side responded with a solid display. Blokhin said: "Our performance was improved as we had a number of first-choice central defenders available. But we need to pass the ball faster and into wide positions in order to stretch opponents and create more opportunities."

Germany, who have won all of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualification matches, visit on 11 November and will allow the home side to assess exactly how well preparations are going for next summer.

Last updated: 09/10/11 12.47CET

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