Pylyp Budkivskiy struck three times to help Ukraine get their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign off the ground with a resounding 5-1 win in Latvia.
After losing their Group 5 opener at home to Croatia, Serhiy Kovalets's men were keen to make amends and Dmytro Ryzhuk and Vitaliy Buyalskiy put them into an early two-goal lead in Jelgava. Budkivskiy scored either side of the break before Igors Rei pulled one back for the hosts, yet there was still time for Budkivskiy to complete his hat-trick and ensure his team moved third in the section.
The visitors did not take long to get into their stride and seven minutes in Ryzhuk met Vladyslav Kalitvintsev's corner with his head to open the scoring. Artur Rudko made a strong save to prevent Artūrs Karašausks equalising, before Buyalskiy tapped in a Kalitvintsev cross at the other end to double the advantage.
On the half-hour mark Budkivskiy got his first as he converted a brilliant back-heeled assist from Sergii Bolbat and five minutes after the restart he took his personal tally to two. Latvia displayed their fighting spirit as Rei reduced the deficit, but the four-goal cushion was swiftly restored as Budkivskiy rounded off his treble with 25 minutes remaining.
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