Ukraine pull the plug on Switzerland

Ukraine 2-0 Switzerland
Dmytro Ryzhuk and Redvan Memeshev scored to end their ten-man visitors' play-off dream.

Matteo Fedele (right) of Switzerland competes with Vitaliy Buyalskiy of Ukraine
Matteo Fedele (right) of Switzerland competes with Vitaliy Buyalskiy of Ukraine ©Pavel Kubanov

Ten-man Switzerland's hopes of a play-off place evaporated, as goals from Dmytro Ryzhuk and Redvan Memeshev kept Ukraine in sight of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs.

Ukraine got into their stride quickly in Cherkassy; it took just seven minutes for them to get their noses in front against their closest rivals in the group, Ryzhuk scoring from close range after Maksym Malyshev headed Vladyslav Kalitvintsev's corner into his path. The game remained in the balance, though, until Switzerland's Matteo Fedele was shown a second yellow card for a 73rd-minute tug on Vitaliy Buyalskiy.

The home side soon made the man advantage tell, substitute Memeshev nodding in from Kalitvintsev's excellent cross after left-back Volodymyr Kostevych launched an attacking thrust.

Croatia are already sure to finish top of Group 5 due to their superior head-to-head record in games against Ukraine, but victory at home against Liechtenstein on Monday could propel Serhiy Kovalets's side into the play-off draw as one of the four runners-up with the best records against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections.