Slovenia go top with victory against Ukraine

Slovenia 2-0 Ukraine
Tomaž Kavčič's side climbed to the top of qualifying Group 2 courtesy of second-half goals from Dejan Lazarevič and Enej Jelenič.

Dejan Lazarevič of Slovenia in action against Ukraine
Dejan Lazarevič of Slovenia in action against Ukraine ©Grega Wernig

Slovenia climbed to the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 thanks to a 2-0 victory against Ukraine.

Tomaž Kavčič's side had to wait until 11 minutes after half-time to take the lead in Ptuj, Dejan Lazarevič setting them on course and Enej Jelenič wrapping up the win midway through the second half. Kavčič's charges are two points clear of Finland at the top of the section having played a game more.

The hosts enjoyed decent possession down the flanks throughout the first half but struggled to produce sufficient incision in the final third, with Boban Jovič's effort their most notable opening. Ukraine chanced their arm through Artur Kaskov, Ihor Chaykovskiy and Roman Bezus but failed to find a breakthrough.

Slovenia captain Rajko Rep was denied by a splendid stop from Maxym Koval just before the interval, but Ukraine enjoyed far better possession early in the second half. Their momentum was halted by Lazarevič, though, who cut in from the left and fired low into the bottom corner for a splendid solo goal.

Kevin Kampl then went close from a set piece, but the home team did not have to wait long to add a second, doubling their advantage on 67 minutes when Jelenič received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and sent it low into the net. Slovenia face Sweden away on 6 October, with Ukraine going to Malta the following day.