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Last-gasp Lysenko ends Czech challenge

Czech Republic 0-1 Ukraine
A goal two minutes from time by Volodymyr Lysenko curtailed Czech hopes of reaching the play-offs, taking Ukraine above them into second place.

Volodymyr Lysenko's goal eliminated the Czech Republic
Volodymyr Lysenko's goal eliminated the Czech Republic ©Oleksandr Zadiraka

A goal two minutes from time by Volodymyr Lysenko ended the Czech Republic's hopes of progress and helped Ukraine leapfrog them into second place in Group 2.

Victory needed
A win would have been enough for the Czechs to make the play-offs as a best runners-up but the late strike eliminated them at the group stage for the first time since the new format of an eight-team final tournament was introduced in 2000. Ukraine finished the section on 15 points, one above their hosts.

Fenin call-up
The Czech Republic had led Group 2 five days before but a 2-0 weekend defeat in Turkey restricted their chances and, with Turkey triumphant again today, only a home win against Ukraine would suffice for a best runners-up slot. The locals, however, lost experienced striker Martin Fenin to a senior call-up for Wednesday's game in Northern Ireland; Tomáš Necid, top scorer in this summer's UEFA European Under-19 Championship, replaced him for his U21 debut.

Late Lysenko
Necid almost made an immediate impact but his early header was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Bohdan Schust. At the other end, Milan Švenger was forced to keep out dangerous shots from Lysenko. The Czechs increased the pace in the second period and captain Martin Fillo headed against the bar in the 60th minute. However, with the hosts throwing everything into the attack in the dying moments, Lysenko eluded their back line in the 89th minute to end their ambitions altogether.