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Ukraine beat Montenegro for finals berth

Montenegro failed to make it to their first UEFA final tournament, defeat on the final day sending Ukraine to July's finals in Greece as winners of elite round Group 5.

Ukraine celebrate making it to the Under-19 finals
Ukraine celebrate making it to the Under-19 finals ©Fedja Krvavac

Olexandr Holovko's Ukraine made it to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Greece, a 2-0 final day win against Montenegro ending their opponents' bid for a first finals appearance.

With both sides unbeaten in their opening games in Bosnia and Herzegovina, everything hinged on their final-day encounter at the Bijeli Brijeg Sports Hall in Mostar, with Montenegro only needing to avoid defeat to reach the finals. However, Ukraine took the game by the scruff of the neck and took what proved to be a decisive 2-0 lead inside the first 30 minutes, Olexandr Zinchenko and then Marian Shved on target.

Two goals from FK Rad's Nikola Vujnović had helped Montenegro get the better of Poland in their opening game, and they beat hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina next time out, though SL Benfica traineer Oliver Šarkić did not get the winner until deep into second-half added time. Ukraine, meanwhile, drew their opener against the hosts 1-1, but were 4-0 up at one point in their second game – having missed a penalty - before ten-man Poland pulled two back.

Ukraine follow holders Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Austria, France and hosts Greece into the finals from 6 to 19 July. Joining those seven in the 9 June draw, streamed live on UEFA.com, will be the winners of elite round Group 1, where Georgia welcome Portugal, Spain and Turkey from 29 May.

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