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Ukraine left it late to win a place at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, captain Artem Milevskyy scoring three minutes into added time to secure a 3-1 victory in Belgium and 5-4 aggregate success.
The Ukrainians had been beaten 3-2 at home on Saturday, with Kevin Vandenbergh scoring a hat-trick to give the Young Devils an excellent chance of progressing. That sense of anticipation was only heightened after 39 minutes at the Daknam stadium in Lokeren as Benjamin De Ceulaer opened the scoring, only for Belgium to fall apart in the final 20 minutes as Ruslan Fomin (70) and Dmytro Chygrynskiy (82) struck before Milevskyy's dramatic denouement.
The early stages were notable for a lack of goalmouth activity, and a quarter-hour had passed before Vandenbergh forced the first save from visiting goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov. The KRC Genk forward was on the end of another opportunity five minutes later, shooting narrowly wide of the post following eye-catching build-up play from De Ceulaer. Provider turned scorer soon after, as the No7 latched on to Pieter-Jan Monteyne's long pass and slotted Belgium in front at the second attempt.
Leading 4-2 on aggregate and with three away goals in the bag, it seemed Belgium would advance simply by remaining calm. Yet Vandenbergh had predicted prior to the match that Ukraine had enough firepower to trouble his side, and so it proved as Fomin burst through on the right-side of the area and levelled on the night. Ukraine now raided forward en masse, and were rewarded as Chygrynskiy rose highest to head low into the right-hand corner.
Ukraine's physical presence was proving telling as the home side tired, although Belgium must surely have felt that they had done enough as the 93rd minute ticked by. Milevskyy retained his belief, though, and capped an improbable comeback with a powerful drive which left goalkeeper Silvio Proto helpless, and Belgium heartbroken.
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