KIEV: Ukraine’s former European Player of the Year Andrei Shevchenko rolled back the years here on Monday as his second-half double inspired the Euro 2012 co-hosts to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Sweden in their Group D encounter.
The 35-year-old Ukraine captain took his tally to 48 in 108 international appearances with two superb headers within seven minutes of each other — his opposite number Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s neat 52nd minute finish had give the Swedes the lead.
The victory sees Ukraine — who are co-hosting the tournament — top the table after the other group match between France and England ended 1-1.
“I feel great — it was a historic game for us, it’s a victory,” grinned Shevchenko, who made his debut back in 1995.“I feel like 20 years, not 35!“Thank you to everybody who supported me. It was a very long walk because I had a lot of problems before the European Championships.“It’s such an important competition — I feel fantastic!”
There had been little indication of the fairytale on the evidence of the first-half as Shevchenko looked way off the pace and when he was found free on the right of the box the 35-year-old, who has been struggling with injury for the past year, scuffed his shot and the ball went past the far post.
The Ukrainians carved out the best chances with another veteran Andrei Voronin forcing Andreas Isaksson to punch to safety from long range while one of the younger generation, Andrei Yarmolenko, was also denied by the Swedish ‘keeper at closer range.