YEREVAN (Reuters)–Ukraine bounced back from two goals down to snatch a 3-2 win over Armenia in their World Cup European group five qualifier on Saturday.
Three unanswered goals in 14 minutes — two by AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko — gave the Ukrainians their first points.
Artur Petrosyan had rocked visiting Ukraine with goals in the 17th and 44th minutes.
He opened with a powerful long-range drive into the top corner–then beat Ukraine ‘keeper Olexander Shovkovsky from close in.
But Shevchenko silenced a near-capacity 14,000 crowd with a perfect 20-meter free kick just seconds before the interval.
The Ukrainian sent a curving shot around a seven-man defensive wall. Armenia ‘keeper Roman Berezovsky could only watch as the ball hit the top corner of the net.
Andriy Husin leveled 10 minutes into the second half and just four minutes later Shevchenko fired home a crisp volley after a neat interchange between Serhiy Rebrov and Andriy Vorobei.
“Shevchenko’s first goal was the key for us,” said Ukraine assistant coach Leonid Buryak. “After that we were able to control the second half and score a very important victory.”
Armenia coach Aram Parsadanyan blasted his players for their second half performance.
“We are very disappointed with our team in the second half,” he said. “Berezovsky played a very bad game and now we have to look and see what changes must be made for our next match.”
The win put Ukraine back in contention after they suffered a surprise 3-1 home defeat by Poland last month.
Armenia has one point after holding Norway 0-0 in their opener.