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Shevchenko headers hand Ukraine win

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP):

Andriy Shevchenko made his coach look brilliant, scoring two great headers yesterday to give Ukraine a 2-1 win over Sweden at the European Championship.

After Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given Sweden the lead in the 52nd minute, Shevchenko responded by heading in the equaliser just three minutes later and then added the winner in the 61st.

The victory gave Ukraine a serious chance of advancing from Group D after England and France drew 1-1, while Sweden face an uphill battle to remain in the tournament.

Shevchenko is already a national icon in Ukraine and carried the hopes of the team going into the tournament. In front of sea of yellow and blue in the packed Olympic Stadium, he certainly didn't disappoint. He rewarded the faith coach Oleg Blokhin showed in the veteran.


Showing flashes of the scorer's instinct that once made him one of the world's top strikers, Shevchenko beat Olof Mellberg to a cross for his first goal and then met a corner to head the ball inside the near post for the second.

That set off shouts of "Sheva'' that could reverberate throughout the nation for a long time.

Meanwhile, France dominated England everywhere except on the scoreboard. The French finished the match with 19 shots, 15 on target. England managed only three toward the net.

Joleon Lescott put England in the lead with a header in the 30th minute and Samir Nasri levelled for France shortly before half-time with a strike into the bottom corner of the net.

After running away in celebration, television replays showed Nasri shouting "shut your mouth'' in French as he looked in the direction of the England bench. He then brought his finger to his lips as if to tell someone to hush.

France still have not won a match at a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup. The national team, however, is unbeaten in their last 22 matches.