Andriy Yarmolenko completed the full 90 minutes as Ukraine continued their perfect start to the new UEFA Nations League with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Earning his 80th cap, the West Ham United forward started on the right wing as the Ukrainians edged out their League B Group 1 rivals at the OSK Metalist Stadion in Kharkiv – a victory which made it three wins out of three and secured promotion to League A for the 2020/21 season.
The all-important goal was scored by Genk midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi two minutes before half-time, and the Hammer himself could have made the margin of victory even wider after the break.
First, the 28-year-old collected a throw out from goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov before playing a one-two with Marlos and bearing down on goal, only to lose control of the ball as he attempted to round Czech goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
Four minutes later, he powered into the penalty area and cut back onto his left foot before firing wide before completing a lively period by laying on a chance for Viktor Tsygankov, whose low shot was saved by Pavlenka.
Ukraine complete their 2018/19 UEFA Nations League campaign when they travel to Trnava to face Slovakia on 16 November.
There was also joy for Academy midfielder Peter Stroud, who featured in all three matches as the United States U17s finished second in a four-team FA International Youth Tournament in England.
Stroud was a substitute as the US kicked-off with a 3-1 defeat by England in Chester before starting a stirring come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Brazil in Nantwich and Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Russia in Witton.
Elsewhere, Conor Coventry spoke of his pride after helping Republic of Ireland U19s qualify for the Elite Round of qualifying for the 2019 UEFA European Championship by defeating the Netherlands in Longford on Wednesday.
Joseph Anang was an unused substitute as England U19s hammered Macedonia 6-2 in a friendly at St George’s Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Marko Arnautovic and Arthur Masuaku have returned to Rush Green to prepare for Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Tottenham Hotspur, meaning they missed Austria’s friendly in Denmark and DR Congo’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Zimbabwe respectively.