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Ukraine give Blokhin winning return

Ukraine 2-0 Uzbekistan
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Andriy Voronin scored early in the second period to ensure Oleh Blokhin's second spell in charge got off to a winning start.

Andriy Voronin celebrates scoring Ukraine's second goal
Andriy Voronin celebrates scoring Ukraine's second goal ©Pavlo Kubanov

Ukraine 2-0 Uzbekistan
Oleh Blokhin marked his return as Ukraine coach with a friendly victory in Kyiv thanks to second-half goals from Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Andriy Voronin.

The UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts were made to work hard for their win at the Valeri Lobanovskiy stadium in Kyiv and it was not until the 54th minute they broke through thanks to Tymoshchuk's fine long-range volley. Six minutes later the victory was all but assured when Voronin scored after Ruslan Rotan struck the crossbar, although the final margin might have been even greater.

Ukraine had more possession from the outset with deep-sitting Andriy Shevchenko and Artem Milevskiy forming a potent attacking quintet along with advanced striker Marko Dević and pacy wingers Denys Oliynyk and Oleh Gusev. Visiting goalkeeper Ignati Nesterov had little to do though, Gusev, Shevchenko, Dević and Oliynyk all either missing the target or having their shots blocked.

Uzbekistan looked threatening on the counterattack, however, and Andriy Dykan in the home goal had to be alert to keep out efforts from Maksim Shatskikh and Marat Bikmaev while Tymoshchuk was forced increasingly deep.

Blohkin responded by introducing Rotan alongside Tymoshchuk in central midfield at the break and within nine minutes the change paid dividends as, freed from his defensive duties, the FC Bayern München midfielder opened the scoring with a superb shot from outside the penalty area.

The advantage was doubled on the hour, substitute Voronin reacting quickest to find the net after Rotan had been denied by the woodwork. Ukraine had chances to further increase their lead in the final 30 minutes but Yevgen Seleznov, Voronin, Sergiy Nazarenko and central defender Yevgen Khacheridi all passed up presentable openings. Blohkin's side next take on France on 6 June.