Expert analysis of the events in Poland and Ukraine
Back of the Net
The Back of the Net gang provide an alternative take on Ukraine's Sheva-inspired comeback against Sweden
Matchwinner Andriy Shevchenko has described Ukraine’s win over Sweden as “a fairytale,” after he scored two goals to complete a stunning comeback in his nation’s Euro 2012 opener, and defeated an evil wizard to win the love of a beautiful princess.
The match had threatened to be a nightmare for Shevchenko and his compatriots, after a 52nd-minute goal by malevolent sorcerer Zlatan Ibrahimović put the Swedes in a commanding position.
Ibrahimović was booed throughout by the home crowd, who reacted badly after he imprisoned their beloved princess in a 1,000-foot tower early in the first half. And for a while it looked like he would have the last laugh, after he tricked Ukraine defender Yevhen Selin into drinking a sleeping potion, before taking advantage of his absence to open the scoring from six yards.
Things looked even bleaker for Ukraine after Swedish manager Erik Hamren decided to go for the throat, unleashing a ravenous wolf, which threatened to blow down Andriy Pyatov’s goal and eat his grandmother.
But Shevchenko rode to the rescue, slaying the wolf with a single blow, before sneaking past ferocious giant Olof Mellberg to score a deserved equaliser.
Then, following a cross by trusty sidekick Yevhen Konoplyanka, the intrepid Shevchenko confounded Ibrahimović to power home the winner, sending the crowd into raptures and as the evil genius crumbled into a pile of dust.
After the game, Shevchenko was presented with the match ball and the hand of the beautiful princess, whom the dastardly Ibrahimović had planned to marry for himself.
“The important thing was to get the three points, but rescuing the princess is obviously great on a personal level,” Shevchenko told FourFourTwo.com. “It’s been a difficult few years for me, ever since I signed for Chelsea and an evil witch cursed me and took away my powers.”
If they want to progress to the knockout stages, Ukraine still have get past France, England, and a dark enchanted forest. But the former AC Milan hero insists that he has destiny on his side.
“We’re definitely the underdogs, but we’ve shown that we can answer any riddles asked of us,” he said. “With hard work, a bit of luck, and maybe a magical sword, I’m convinced that this team can live happily ever after.”
More from Back of the Net:Torres performance vindicates Spain decision to play with no strikers Ireland defeated as every chance somehow falls to Keith AndrewsPortugal lull Germany into a real sense of security'We're ranked ninth in the world,' squeak plucky DanesRuthless Russians nostalgically crush Czech resistancePoland v Greece fails to live up to expectations, thank God
During the Euros, Back of the Net will tweet live during the match. Follow the commentary at http://twitter.com/backofthenetFFT
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