Ukraine kept their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying hopes alive with a vital 2-0 victory against second-placed Slovenia in Kyiv.
Trailing their opponents by six points with two games remaining, Ukraine knew nothing less than victory would keep them in the hunt in Group 2. First-half goals from Dmytro Korkishko and Serhiy Rybalka put them in the ascendancy, while Korkishko's penalty miss and Oleksandr Karavayev's dismissal only served to fuel the hosts' resolve.
The match was 16 minutes old when Korkishko profited from Andriy Bogdanov's incisive pass and calmly slotted the ball past Jan Oblak. The visitors responded with intent but Igor Berezovskiy was equal to Robert Berić's powerful header. The hosts doubled their lead three minutes before the break when Vitaliy Fedotov was felled in the area and Rybalka converted from the spot.
A handball by Antonio Delamea-Mlinar gifted Ukraine their second penalty but Korkishko was denied by an excellent save. Slovenia were handed a lifeline on 62 minutes when Karavayev was shown a second yellow card but they failed to make their numerical advantage count. Ukraine's penultimate game sees them host Malta on 6 September, while Slovenia could edge closer to qualification with victory at home to Sweden.