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 Ukraine through to Euro 2016

Ukraine qualified for the 2016 European Championship after a nervy 1-1 draw in Slovenia saw them through 3-1 on aggregate, after the second-leg play-off on Tuesday.

Censor.NET reports citing The Guardian.

Slovenia, who were in England's qualifying group, had the perfect start at the Stadion Ljudski when the captain Bostjan Cesar headed in from close range after 11 minutes, when Valter Birsa's cross was not cleared.

However, the home side, trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Lviv, could not find a second goal and ended the match with 10 men after the defender Miso Brecko was shown a red card for a foul on Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Then, deep into stoppage time, Andriy Yarmolenko equalised from close range to ensure their Euro 2016 spot was safe as Ukraine put an end to their play-off misery, having lost out for a place at the 2014 World Cup to France.

Read more: Decision to hold 2018 competition in Russia diplomatically arranged to rig vote, - Blatter

Slovenia had piled on the pressure from the start and Cesar made the most of their first chance. the Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov had failed to deal with a teasing cross by Birsa and after a visiting defender blocked Milivoje Novakovic's effort, the ball fell kindly for Cesar.

Slovenia then came close to levelling the tie on aggregate when the midfielder Nejc Pecnik's fierce shot cannoned off a static Pyatov shortly before half-time. Nonetheless, Slovenia's goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had some work to do and denied Yevhen Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko, and the defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy volleyed inches over the bar, as Ukraine gained the upper hand after the interval.

The visitors were nearly punished several minutes later, when Cesar was left unmarked at the far post for a free header which Pyatov somehow kept out, and Ukraine then survived a fierce Slovenia onslaught. The substitute Zlatan Ljubijankic had a shot blocked and the home side forced a flurry of corners in the dying minutes, before Yarmolenko put the game beyond their reach.
 
 
 
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