The first round of UEFA EURO 2012 group games produced several memorable matches and a plethora of talking points, perhaps none more poetic than Andriy Shevchenko's two-goal performance for co-hosts Ukraine against Sweden.
Playing on his club ground, FC Dynamo Kyiv's Olympic Stadium, the Ukraine captain showed he had lost none of the predatory instincts that had made one of the world's most potent strikers by turning in a display which leaves him at the top the Castrol EDGE Index with a score of 9.7.
Both of the local favourite's second-half efforts found the back of the net – headers following from Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka crosses. In total the 35-year-old hit the target three times.
The former AC Milan forward was up against a member of the current Rossoneri vintage, Sweden skipper Zlatan Ibrahimović, who is second in the Index on 9.57. Like his Ukraine counterpart, the graceful forward was highly rewarded for scoring – he also struck a post and tested Andriy Pyatov with another shot − but also for his role in recovering possession.
That ensured his rating was marginally higher than Alan Dzagoev, who completes the top three, and Václav Pilař, in fourth. On only his third outing since recovering from a broken toe, Dzagoev was the Czech Republic's chief tormentor in Russia's 4-1 triumph. Playing on the right of a front three, he scored with two of his three shots as Dick Advocaat's team recorded the biggest win of the finals so far.
The shooting prowess of Pilař, one of his opponents in that Wroclaw encounter, was just as pronounced. Not only did he equalise, but all four of the VfL Wolfsburg man's efforts hit the target. The midfielder also completed all 11 of his passes in key areas of the final third.
Completing the top five is Arjen Robben. Though his Netherlands team were on the end of the shock result of the finals so far, losing 1-0 to Denmark, the fleet-footed winger was one of the stand-out performers in Kharkiv. His passing was particularly threatening – he supplied three dangerous balls in the opposition penalty area – while he was also responsible for a quarter of the Oranje's 28 efforts (including blocked shots) on goal.
The full Castrol EDGE Index is available here.
Key facts so far
3 – Number of players tied on a tournament-high two goals: Shevchenko, Dzagoev and Croatia's Mario Mandžukić.
15 – No team has had more shots on target than France.
28 – The Netherlands had more attempts on goal, including blocked shots, than any other side in the first eight games. In contrast, their opponents, Denmark, had just eight.
60 – Percentage of possession enjoyed by France and Spain in their respective encounters. Neither won, though.
94 – Pass completion percentage of Spain centre-back Sergio Ramos in the 1-1 draw with Italy, a finals best among players who started a match.
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