Ukraine vs Austria: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats
Friday, January 1, 2021
Ukraine and Austria bring down the curtain on their Group C campaigns in Bucharest with a first competitive meeting.
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Two recent EURO co-hosts come face to face in the final round of Group C games as Ukraine take on Austria at the National Arena Bucharest.
• Austria co-hosted UEFA EURO 2008 with Switzerland, their first appearance in a UEFA European Championship; four years later, Ukraine made their own EURO debut as joint hosts alongside Poland.
• Both sides are on three points in the section, three behind the Netherlands who are confirmed as Group C winners. Ukraine recovered from an opening 3-2 loss to the Dutch in Amsterdam to beat debutants North Macedonia 2-1 in Bucharest on Matchday 2, Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk scoring in both games; Austria were 3-1 winners against North Macedonia in Bucharest, their first EURO finals victory, before going down 2-0 to the Dutch in Amsterdam.
• That means Ukraine will finish second in the section with a win or draw, while Austria must beat Ukraine to finish second.
• This is only the sides' third fixture, and a first competitive meeting.
• The teams' only previous matches were friendlies in the 2011/12 season, with both decided in the final seconds of the contest.
• Ukraine won the first 2-1 at the Arena Lviv on 15 November 2011, Marko Dević scoring a 90th-minute winner 19 minutes after an Oleksandr Kucher own goal had cancelled out Artem Milevskiy's 18th-minute opener.
• On 1 June the following year – in Ukraine's penultimate warm-up for UEFA EURO 2012 – Austria ran out 3-2 winners in Innsbruck. After Zlatko Junuzović had given the home side an early lead at the Tivoli Stadion, Oleh Gusev's 56th-minute equaliser sparked a run of three goals in ten minutes. The Ukrainian struck again in the 65th minute after Marko Arnautović had restored Austria's advantage, but it was Arnautović who would settle the outcome with the final goal a minute from time.
EURO facts: Ukraine
• Having never featured in a UEFA European Championship before co-hosting the 2012 edition with Poland, this is Ukraine's third successive appearance in the final tournament.
• Before beating North Macedonia on Matchday 2 Ukraine had lost six of their seven EURO matches. That was their first finals win since a 2-1 defeat of Sweden in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 fixture. Andriy Shevchenko, now head coach, scored twice in Kyiv – Ukraine's only EURO finals goals before this tournament.
• A team coached by Mykhailo Fomenko finished bottom of Group C at UEFA EURO 2016, losing to Germany, Northern Ireland (both 0-2) and Poland (0-1).
• Shevchenko's side finished top of Group B in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020, picking up 20 points from their eight games – three more than holders Portugal.
• Ukraine remained unbeaten in qualifying, winning six and drawing two. They are one of five sides to not lose a game in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries, along with Belgium, Italy – who both won all their fixtures – Spain and Denmark.
• This is the first time Ukraine have qualified for a EURO directly; after co-hosting in 2012, they beat Slovenia in the play-offs to reach the 2016 event.
• Ukraine had never played in Bucharest before beating North Macedonia there on Matchday 2. Indeed, this is only their third game in Romania, the first a 4-1 friendly loss to the home side at the Stadionul Gheorghe Hagi in Constanţa on 27 March 2002.
EURO facts: Austria
• This is Austria's third EURO finals appearance, all in the last 12 years. Having appeared as co-hosts at UEFA EURO 2008 but failed to win in three games, they qualified for the tournament for the first time at UEFA EURO 2016 but again bowed out without recording a victory.
• Austria's record in EURO final tournaments is now W1 D2 L5 F5 A10.
• At UEFA EURO 2016, Austria finished bottom of Group F, losing to Hungary (0-2) and Iceland (1-2) either side of a goalless draw against eventual champions Portugal.
• Austria's greatest achievement is a third-place finish at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in neighbouring Switzerland. They last qualified for a World Cup in 1998, when the tournament was staged in France.
• The win against North Macedonia on Matchday 1 was Austria's first at a major finals since a 2-1 defeat of the United States in the 1990 World Cup group stage.
• Franco Foda's side booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020 as Group G runners-up behind Poland, winning six of their ten qualifiers (D1 L3). They lost their first two matches and, with their finals place already secured, the last, 1-0 in Latvia.
• The win against North Macedonia on Matchday 1 means Austria's record in Bucharest is now W1 D1 L1. They lost 4-0 to Romania there in qualifying for the 1988 UEFA European Championship, before a 1-1 draw against the same opponents in the 2010 World Cup preliminaries; both those games were played at the Stadionul Steaua, meaning this is their second fixture at the National Arena.
• Having also drawn 1-1 in Craiova in a 1972 friendly, their first away game against Romania, Austria ended their winless run in the country by defeating their hosts 1-0 in Ploieşti in the UEFA Nations League on 14 October 2020.
Links and trivia
• Has played in Ukraine:
Aleksandar Dragović (Dynamo Kyiv 2013–16)
• Have played together:
Serhiy Sydorchuk, Yevhen Makarenko, Andriy Yarmolenko & Aleksandar Dragović (Dynamo Kyiv 2013–16)
Roman Bezus & Aleksandar Dragović (Dynamo Kyiv 2013–14)
Artem Besedin, Roman Yaremchuk, Viktor Tsygankov & Aleksandar Dragović (Dynamo Kyiv 2016)
Andriy Yarmolenko & Marko Arnautović (West Ham 2018/19)
• Stefan Lainer provided an assist in Borussia Mönchengladbach's 6-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 3 November 2020; Anatolii Trubin, Marlos and substitute Taras Stepanenko all played for the home side in Kyiv, with Valentino Lazaro a substitute for Gladbach.
• Yarmolenko scored for Dynamo Kyiv in a 2-2 draw at Rapid Wien in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Marlos scored in both legs as Shakhtar Donetsk beat Rapid 3-2 on aggregate in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs.
• Marlos had also been on target in Metalist Kharkiv's 4-1 defeat of Salzburg in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg, with Martin Hinteregger recording an own goal; Marlos provided an assist in Metalist's 4-0 first-leg win.
• David Alaba provided an assist as Bayern München beat a Shakhtar team including Andriy Pyatov, Taras Stepanenko and Serhiy Kryvtsov 7-0 in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg.
• Hinteregger's goal helped Eintracht Frankfurt to a 2-2 draw against Shakhtar in Kharkiv in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg.
• Florian Grillitsch scored in Hoffenheim's 4-1 win away to a Gent side including Yaremchuk and Roman Bezus on Matchday 2 of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League. Stefan Posch and substitute Christoph Baumgartner also played for the visitors.
• While Ukraine's 2-1 victory against North Macedonia ended their six-game losing streak at the EURO finals, they are still without a clean sheet in their eight matches at the tournament.
• Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk have both scored in each of Ukraine's last three matches – a 4-0 friendly win against Cyprus in Kharkiv and the opening two games at UEFA EURO 2020. They are now the country's joint top scorers at the EURO finals alongside current head coach Andriy Shevchenko, on two apiece.
• Yarmolenko scored twice against Cyprus before finding the net with a spectacular strike against the Netherlands and a close-range opener against North Macedonia to lift his all-time tally of international goals to 42, six behind Ukraine's record scorer Shevchenko.
• Yaremchuk's strike against North Macedonia in Bucharest was his fourth goal in five internationals and tenth in total, enabling him to become only the eighth Ukrainian goalscorer to reach double figures.
• Ukraine's defeat by the Netherlands in Amsterdam ended the team's six-match unbeaten run. They had registered a fourth successive 1-1 draw in the first of their three pre-UEFA EURO 2020 friendlies, against Bahrain in Kharkiv on 23 May, but were subsequently victorious against both Northern Ireland – 1-0 in Dnipro – and Cyprus.
• There were international debuts from the bench for Heorhii Sudakov and Denys Popov against Bahrain and a first international goal for Oleksandr Zubkov to win the game against Northern Ireland. Zubkov was injured early on in the EURO opener against the Netherlands and did not play against North Macedonia.
• Yarmolenko and goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov are veterans of the country's two previous EURO final tournament campaigns, the pair having played all six matches in 2012 and 2016, the first three alongside Shevchenko. Only four other UEFA EURO 2020 squad members have survived from the last squad in France – Serhiy Sydorchuk, Taras Stepanenko, Oleksandr Zivchenko and Oleksandr Karavaev.
• Dynamo Kyiv won the Ukrainian league double in 2020/21 and there are ten players from that side in Shevchenko's squad – Sydorchuk, Karavaev, Popov, Georgiy Bushchan, Mykola Shaparenko, Illia Zabarnyi, Viktor Tsygankov, Vitaliy Mykolenko, Artem Besedin and Oleksandr Tymchyk.
• Other 2020/21 domestic league title winners in the Ukraine squad are Ferencváros's Zubkov, Manchester City's Zinchenko and Club Brugge's Eduard Sobol.
• Yarmolenko was one of only three members of Ukraine's UEFA EURO 2020 squad not involved in UEFA club competition in 2020/21 – along with Yevhen Makarenko and Artem Dobnyk. However, his West Ham side have qualified to play UEFA Europa League group stage football in 2021/22 thanks to their sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.
• Austria's win against North Macedonia on Matchday 1 was not only their first EURO finals victory but also the first time they had scored three goals in a major tournament encounter since a famous 3-2 victory over West Germany at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
• The subsequent 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands in Amsterdam means that Austria have failed to score in four of their last five matches. They warmed up for the tournament with a 1-0 defeat by England in Middlesbrough on 2 June and a 0-0 draw against Slovakia in Vienna four days later. That clean sheet is the only one they have kept in their last nine games.
• Stefan Lainer became the first player in an Austria starting XI to score at the EURO finals with his opening volley against North Macedonia. Four of the country's five goals at the tournament have been scored by substitutes, Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautović both subsequently finding the net on Matchday 1 after being introduced from the bench.
• Aleksandar Dragović, Austria's only ever-present in the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers, became just the fourth Austrian international to reach 90 caps when he played against England earlier this month. Only one, Andreas Herzog, has gone on to complete the century.
• Dragović is one of eight members of Austria's UEFA EURO 2020 squad who competed in France five years ago. The others are David Alaba, Arnautović, Julian Baumgartlinger, Martin Hinteregger, Stefan Ilsanker, Marcel Sabitzer and Alessandro Schöpf, who scored the team's only goal at those finals, against Iceland.
• Arnautović, who was suspended for the game against the Netherlands, holds the Austrian record for appearances in EURO matches, qualifiers included, of 30, and needs one more goal to match Toni Polster's national high in the competition of 15. Two of his 27 international goals have been scored against Ukraine – the only team he has scored more against is North Macedonia, having made it three against them on Matchday 1.
• No fewer than 21 of the 26 players in Franco Foda's squad played for German Bundesliga clubs in 2020/21. The only one to win silverware was Alaba, who captured a ninth successive league title with Bayern München in his final season at the club before leaving for Real Madrid.
• One of the two home-based players in the squad, Andreas Ulmer, also enjoyed repeat domestic success by winning the Austrian Bundesliga title for the 11th time – and eighth in a row – with Salzburg, to which he added a third successive domestic cup triumph – and eighth in all.
• There was also club success elsewhere in 2020/21 for midfielder Louis Schaub, a Swiss Cup winner with Luzern, and goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, who achieved promotion to the English Premier League with Watford. The latter made his debut for Austria in that pre-tournament friendly against England and has kept his place for the opening two games of UEFA EURO 2020.