Pylyp Budkivskiy and Yevhen Shakhov both hit doubles as an impressive Ukraine stunned Sweden 6-0 to close the gap on the top two to five points – with a game in hand.
Lying fourth and trailing leading duo Slovenia and second-placed Sweden by eight points heading into this fixture, Ukraine were not favourites but had to win this game to stay in the hunt for a play-off berth. Pavlo Yakovenko's team started at a blistering pace, locking their opponents in their own half and scored three goals in little over half an hour.
Budkivskiy was responsible for two of those, his 17th and 32nd-minute headers sandwiching Andriy Bogdanov's deflected strike from the edge of the box on 20 minutes.
After the interval the Ukrainians eased off and focused on playing counterattacking football, and it paid dividends on the 75th minute when Shakhov latched onto Vitaliy Kaverin's pass to finish off a wonderful flowing break. Shakhov completed his double nine minutes later before Temur Partsvaniya rounded off the scoring one minute from time.
Slovenia take on fifth-placed Malta tomorrow while Ukraine are next in action on 4 June, when they travel to Kaunas to face bottom side Lithuania.