• Andriy Yarmolenko registers hat-trick in Luxembourg
• Ukraine record third successive victory in Group C
• Rock-bottom hosts remain winless, suffering third defeat in four
• Next games: Slovakia v Luxembourg, Spain v Ukraine (27 November)
Andriy Yarmolenko notched a hat-trick as Ukraine posted a third straight victory in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group C, defeating Luxembourg 3-0.
The Synyo-Zhovti marksman broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute – netting for the first time this campaign – with a close-range finish after the hosts failed to clear a corner. Yarmolenko claimed his second, a left-footed curling effort, eight minutes after the restart. He completed his treble from distance, beating Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert with a fine strike.
Luc Holtz's team, who suffered a 4-0 reverse against Spain on matchday three, started brightly and almost scored the opener but David Turpel was denied by Ukraine custodian Andriy Pyatov after Artem Fedetskiy's block took the sting out of the shot. However, Mykhailo Fomenko's men fashioned a couple of decent opportunities in the space of two minutes as they began to dictate the game. Roman Zozulya and Denys Oliynyk found space yet both were off target. Oliynyk's 21st-minute effort then forced the first Joubert save of note as Les Lions Rouge struggled to gain a foothold.
Turpel did, however, squander a glorious chance on the break, the No20 unable to find the bottom-right corner after a quick counterattack. Five minutes later, his side would rue that miss as Ukraine made the breakthrough via Yarmolenko. Vyacheslav Shevchuk had forced a smart stop from Joubert but the visitors grabbed the initiative from the subsequent corner. Yarmolenko perhaps should have doubled the lead in added time but his tame attempt went awry.
Oliynyk had an effort blocked after the restart as Ukraine looked to make hay. Indeed, Yarmolenko duly notched his second and third goals within 11 minutes of the interval. The FC Dynamo Kyiv forward even turned provider for Serhiy Sydorchuk but the No22's 63rd-minute strike whistled past the right-hand post. Nonetheless, Ukraine climbed to second, temporarily above Spain, after this emphatic win.