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Ukraine have one foot in Euro 2016 after comfortable win over Slovenia

The first leg hosts won 2-0 today.

Ukraine's Yevhen Seleznyov celebrates after scoring his side;s second goal.
Ukraine's Yevhen Seleznyov celebrates after scoring his side;s second goal.
Image: Efrem Lukatsky/AP/Press Association Images

ANDREI YARMOLENKO AND Yevhen Seleznyov scored in either half to give Ukraine a 2-0 win over Slovenia in the first leg of their Euro 2016 play-offs on Saturday.

The match at the packed 65,000-seat Lviv Arena started with a minute’s silence in  memory of the victims of Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

Ukraine, who have lost all five of their previous qualifying play-offs for major tournaments, dominated early but Samir Handanovic proved solid in the Slovenian goal in the opening 20 minutes.

But in the 22nd minute Yarmolenko picked up a rebound after Handanovic failed to clear Yevhen Konoplyanka’s cross and slotted into the far left post with a low shot.

Slovenia, who beat Ukraine 3-2 on aggregate in the qualifying play-offs 16 years ago, poured into attack and Fiorentina midfielder Josip Ilicic missed a clear chance to level after 27 minutes.

Denys Garmash had an opportunity to increase Ukraine’s lead five minutes before the break but Handanovic reacted well to deny the Dynamo Kiev midfielder’s header.

After the break Ukraine continued to press forward and in the 54th minute Seleznyov got the second with a close range shot off an Artem Fedetskiy cross to give Ukraine the advantage heading to Maribor for Tuesday’s return leg.

(C) AFP 2015

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